|Sent on:||Monday, August 6, 2012 10:51 AM|
WOOF WOOF, BARK BARK!! (Translation: Happy 4th Birthday, Atlanta Unleashed!!)
Good morning, Atlanta Unleashed!! I'm so excited to send you this message on the 4th anniversary of the formation of Atlanta Unleashed.
Four years ago, I had an idea. Wouldn't it be more fun to go to the dog park if it wasn't empty when we got there? Wouldn't it be great if I knew there would be other fun-loving dogs and owners there to pass the time with? So I formed Atlanta Unleashed (then known as the "Greater Metro Atlanta Offleash Dog Park Meetup Group" - - and THAT was a mouthful!).
Over the course of the next year, our group evolved into something really extraordinary. We found some incredible organizers (I'm talking about the original Fab Four: Todd, Lola (aka Yancey), Jennifer, and Dianne) and started planning some unique activities. We still went to dog parks, but we also took our dogs hiking, biking, camping, and canoeing - and that was just a start. We took them to dog-friendly restaurants and participated in fundraisers for local charities. We did all kinds of neat stuff with our favorite fur-pals. And we saw our group grow from 12 members to over 500 members. It was a very exciting time. I saw big things happening with AU, and I couldn't wait to jump in, feet first.
And thanks to Todd, we even found a far better name for our group: Atlanta Unleashed - unleashing the fun. "AU" for short, because our members are golden.
And it didn't end there! For the next 2 years, we continued to offer a variety of activities for dogs and their owners. John joined our group of organizers and put together some amazing days at the Canine Ranch. Todd (he's a rock star!!) kept coming up with new activities, like Barktoberfest.
Slowly, our membership grew to nearly 1,000 dog lovers.
But life sometimes gets in the way of living. As AU continued to grow, the amount of time that I and our organizers had available to dedicate to activities seemed to shrink. Now we have nearly 1,200 members... but the variety and frequency of our activities has declined.
The good news is that Meetup's new forum has kept this group going, despite all that. Members can suggest activities, and if other members show enough interest, it becomes a calendared event. YOU have kept this group alive - EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU - and I cannot thank you enough for that.
But it's time to get Atlanta Unleashed back on track! It's time to make this group what I always knew it could be. And for that, I need your help.
If you are an existing Organizer who is interested in getting back in the groove, or if you are a member who would like to see Atlanta Unleashed offer some of the amazing events and activities it used to offer (plus new ones!), then I urge you to email me and voice your interest. I will be scheduling an Organizers' Meeting soon, where we can determine, as a group, the best structure for our amazing AU community moving forward.
I can't do this alone... We're just too wonderfully big for that! But with your help, AU can be the best dog-centric group on Meetup!! So, let's get this PAW-rty started! Please contact me THIS WEEK to let me know if you're interested in organizing activities for Atlanta Unleashed.
Thanks - for everything... And here's wishing for four more years of fur-tastic fun!!