And Live Your Best Life

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.

Kisses $1

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).

John Garcia loves Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle

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
Put your lips to the world
And live your life.
– Mary Oliver
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