Happy New Year!

Many people look at the turn of the calendar year as a place for new beginnings.  The numbers change – a symbolic turning point to try a new hobby, change bad habits, pursue new goals, clean and organize your surroundings – a magical place to wipe the slate clean and grab a “do-over”!

For me, the new year happens in the wrong season!  I’m much more of a warm weather fan, and find myself with much more energy and enthusiasm for renewal when the ground thaws, the days get longer, the temperature gets warmer and all the greenery begins to emerge!

At All Are Welcome, we have several “renewal points” throughout the year…our Anniversary for opening in March, our Anniversary for Thursday lunch service in June, seasonal menu changes with spring and fall and our big event the RUN FOR YOUR LUNCH5.5K Run/Walk and Chowder Lunch!

Our first RUN was in January 2012, just prior to our opening for service.  With a few phone calls, a few strategically placed friends and family members and more than a little stress we managed to raise enough funds to launch our program on St. Patrick’s Day 2012.  Since that first run, we’ve had a lot of firsts, a lot of fun and made lots of new friends.

Our 2014 Run for Your Lunch was also a GREAT event for us and hopefully for our participants.  We had over 120 runners, dozens of volunteers, a few vendors and lots of wonderful sponsors!!

Special thanks goes out to Northeast Race Management who haul equipment, set up our course, guide our runners and make a safe event for all.

North Congregational Church, UCC also deserves special recognition because they continue to provide us the location to cook, stage and over run their space (on a Sunday, no less) with grace, love and support!

We also want to note that EVERY sponsor, volunteer, and participant are vital to the success of our annual fundraiser, our weekly operations and our continued growth. Attempting to list all of them would make this a very long post – and we run the risk of accidentally leaving someone out (the memory isn’t what it used to be!).  So please know that if you’ve volunteered once or every day since we began; if you ran once or come back year after year…if you gave us $5 or $500…EVERYONE who helps keep us serving our community is vital to our mission!

So, here we are at the end of our 3rd fundraiser, sneaking up on our 2nd anniversary and pondering renewal, change and growth! There are a few things we’d like to be doing better – a few things we’d like to be doing more and a few things we’d like to start!  As we begin this year, we invite YOU to be a part of All Are Welcome…Volunteer! Sponsor! Donate! Share!  Make All Are Welcome part of your 2014 and help us build community, one meal at at time!