Want to help the dogs in your community?

Hello there strangers and welcome to your portal to the fantastic and fulfilling world of volunteerism! I'm excited because this is my portal to free labor and the wanton exploitation of that free labor. Hooray! 

If I haven't scared you off by now, then the rest of this will likely be pretty painless. 

Since we haven't worked together before, I want to explain exactly what I'm doing and why I'm asking for help.

A little over three months ago, a handful of the regulars from the morning dog park crew were standing around and someone idly mentioned that it'd be cool to come by the park in the evening and have a drink while your dog ran around like a maniac. Everybody else agreed, but pretty much left it at that. 

I started planning.

You see, I've got a business where I make alcohol. That business needs a bunch of insurance and licensing and permits and crap. I suspected (and was pretty much dead on) that all of the paperwork crap that is needed to make hooch is the same as is needed to put on this kind of event. Match made in heaven!

So, I spent a couple months or so going through the steps to get the first event permitted and organized, it went really well and we learned a lot. We're going to put on one per month until the weather gets crappy (unless people keep coming, then maybe we'll just bring in fire pits or something, who knows?)

The point of putting this event on is three fold. First, all of the money made at the bar goes to the Sacramento SPCA. We raised $700 at the first event, which I feel to be low. That's why we're dropping the gate from $10 to $5 and eliminating the free drink ticket, thus funneling more money to the SPCA. Second, the money raised by ticket sales goes to producing the event, and park upkeep. I recently learned (while getting all the permits and whatnot) that the Sac Parks Dept. doesn't have money in the budget to replace wood chips or to abate plant growth, etc. If we want this park to be extra nice all the time, we have to do it ourselves. The third reason is to highlight and promote local businesses. We've got local breweries and distilleries donating product, local restaurants will staff the bar, we'll have food trucks from SactoMoFo, and promotional tents with info about local animal businesses and charities. 

This is why I need volunteers. The total cost for the first event was a little more than $4k, ticket sales were right around $2k. It isn't a problem that the venture loses money, the problem is that hired staff would cost another $3k each event and will make the event impossible to maintain. As it stands, future events will cost about $1k (since all the upfront costs like buying fencing and building benches have been spent), which is totally sustainable.  I could have mentioned none of this to you, but this the kinda info that I'd like to know. I'm always curious about these things, especially if I'm volunteering for it.

So, the following are the groups that I need people for, send an email with your preferred group name as the subject to patrick@burkespirits.com. Thanks for your help :D


  • Physical Workers: On the week preceding the event (some amicable day near there) we're going to spend an afternoon dressing the park up. I'll bring in tools and drinks and snacks and we'll set to work redistributing chips, de-pooing, and tidying up the park. I'm going to do this before and after every event, the first one will let us assess how many yards of chips we need to buy to recover on the next one.

    • Roadies: On the day of the event, we're going to set up 300' of fence around the parking lot, a number of benches and shade tents, a bar, ice, power lines, etc. etc. We'll have an hour to load in and an hour to load out. Anyone with actual roadie experience here is greatly preferred.
  • Dog Wranglers: On the day of the event, there will be more dogs than usual, and therefore a greater likelihood of both scuffles, and of well meaning owners missing the occasional poop. You'll be put into an area (either big dog, small dog or in the festival area), and you'll have an official badge on so that you won't be mistaken for some rule crazy dogless creep.

  • Human Wranglers: I want to be clear on this one (since there'll be alcohol and whatnot), there will be a police officer there along with private security. This is not a position of actual human wrangling. You will neither be expected, nor allowed to discipline the attendees. You'll have a special sign nearby, but this sign will not confer any special ability, authority or power to those nearby. It'll probably say something like 'Give Me Your Tickets!' so that people will know that you're the one to give tickets to.