Today was the big day! Thousands met at the USS Intrepid museum in Manhattan for the O Magazine walkathon to benefit 10 charities handpicked by Oprah herself. As you know (because I’ve harassed you for donations for the past few months), I was walking for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. It was a blustery, chilly day in the low 40s with the wind, and as we queued up to wait for the big O everyone was excited. It was a long wait, too. About 2 hours. The top fundraiser, Joan Courturier, got to walk with Oprah (I did not, even though I had a few suggestions for O about her next book selection). She raised more than $17,000 for Best Friends.
Then the celebrities starting coming: Bette Midler, Jennifer Hudson, Gayle King, Mary J. Blige, Emmylou Harris, Rachelle LeFevre, Suze Orman, Lisa Edelstein (from House). Oprah graced the stage and said a few words about the theme of the walk. Living Your Best Life, and off we went. We ended the walk in Times Square. Each charity had a booth to hand out pamphlets and newsletters. Best Friends had a “kissing booth” which was a big hit.
For me the event really kicked off last night. Turns out, I was one of the top 25 fundraisers for Best Friends! I’ve never fundraised for anything in my life. I was invited to a VIP party at the chic Loews Hotel on Park Avenue. I was able to meet some of the trainers from Dogtown, some of the organization’s founders, and the wonderful staff from Best Friends (and Mr. Noodle, who stole the show).
I want to send a special thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who donated to the cause. I wish you could have joined me, but I took your positive energy and good wishes with me.
Here are a list of the charities featured at the walk in addition to Best Friends:
- A Better Chance – Providing educational opportunities for underprivileged kids (Tracy Chapman)
- Camp Cope – Helping military kids in transition
- FFAWN – Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (founded by Mary J. Blige)
- NYRP – Greening New York City (founded by Bette Midler)
- Oceana – Protecting the world’s oceans
- OCRF – Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
- Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry