Monday, July 31, 2006

$2.5+k Pledged for Food Runners: A Big Blogathon Thank You to Everyone!

A Recap of My Blogathon day in just a few rather a lot of paragraphs:

Forgot to pledge? You still can, Donate to Food Runners directly.
Thank you if you did pledge: You can now pay your promised donation to Food Runners directly. Blogathon will send you a reminder mail in the next couple of days which you can ignore, if the payment has already been made. Thank you!

2006 blogathon 24 hours of blogging to raise money for food runners in san francisco on july 29th, Cooking with Amy at Bobs donuts on polk street
Amy attacks Bob's donut at 1.30 AM on Sunday morning

Those of you who have been away from your computers for the weekend would be forgiven for wondering what a Blogathon actually is was. On Saturday July 29th, hundreds of Bloggers, from all over the world, blogged non-stop for 24 hours, each raising funds for the charity of his or her own choice. I decided to support Food Runners, a San Francisco-based Charity that collects surplus food from farmers and restaurants and delivers it to the needy.

Non-stop blogging, it turns out, is much more difficult in practice than it appears to be in theory. Not one to do things by halves, I wasn't satisfied to simply sit at home and spew out a collection of words. I am not quite cerebral enough for that kind of approach. Instead I wanted action, I needed pictures, I wanted to highlight my charity, I wanted a scoop, I wanted to cook, I wanted to dine out. In essence, I wanted to try and capture the entire spirit of my Becks & Posh blog in one long day. I think I may just have pulled it off:

I started without a hangover by asking for questions from the audience, thinking I would have plenty of time to answer them later in the night. No chance, time ran away with itself. I did manage to take part in Meeta's post card event though, so my Chez Panisse postcard was photographed being popped into the mail box. I thought the coast was clear when I whipped out my camera, but a couple of seconds later, a very-irrated member of the public barged in front of me to post his letter first. He didn't seem amused by the couple of seconds I was taking to pose the very important shot.

Every Saturday, almost without fail, between 7.30 and 8.00 AM, I go to the Farmers Market at the Ferry Plaza. Why should a blogathon day be any different? Blogging from Cell phone as I went along, this is when I discovered that the moblogging technology is not 100% reliable. Randomly it decides not to work. No fewer than seven photographs I sent and moblogged from my market visit never arrived on the blog and were for ever lost in cyberspace. This would be the frustrating pattern for the rest of the day.

Back at home with my shopping done, I set about making some crostini for Bron Marshall's Donnay Hay event. I still haven't finished cleaning the kitchen.

After lunch, Fred kindly dropped me back off at the Ferry Building to meet with Keith, Seth and Frank the Food Runner volunteers. I followed them as they picked up excess food from the Market vendors and loaded it onto their truck. Next stop, delivering the food to several shelters around town. This was a very moving experience.

Back at home again, I had a chance to catch up with Fred and I asked him to draw the winner of the grand food prize I put together to help encourage lots of donations. The lucky winner was Amanda Berne and the prize has already been promptly delivered. She is delighted, saying "This is the first time I have ever won anything, should I give it back so someone else can have it instead?". Definitely not, I replied, enjoy!

I decided the day wouldn't be complete without a visit to a brand new organic, sustainable, biodynamic wine bar called Yield, just a block down the road from our house, on Third Street in Dogpatch, San Francisco. Saturday was opening night and so they gave us free champagne. We'll be back, for sure.

Next up on the agenda was a night out on the town. First stop, the XYZ bar for my friend Ellen's birthday. I am not sure why I gave her a copy of my favourite cookbook, it had slipped my mind she is dating a chef.

My good blogging friend Cooking with Amy, this week's Bay Area blogger of the Week on Becks & Posh, hooked up with me to go on a little late-night dining tour of San Francsico. Open until 1am, Oola, a regular haunt of many chefs, has long been one of my favourite SoMa dining spots not least because of the delicious ribs. It was Amy's first visit and she wasn't disappointed. Next we hopped over to Globe for dessert. It was getting later and didn't have quite the buzz that Oola does. Amy's next idea was that we should have a freshly cooked doughnut from Bob's. You can see she enjoyed that! We were about to call it a night when we got a call from a friend who was late night dining at Juet Lee with some chefs. Although I wasn't really hungry, we decided to head over for the experience. This is one of the few places in the city open for dining as late as 3am. One of the chefs I met at Juet Lee was Arren Caccamo, who I have to tell you is totally cool. After he had told me he used to work for Oola where he was the inventor of the ribs that make me swoon, I was awestruck. Now he is at Levende Lounge, where he tells me he has another version of ribs on the menu. I can't wait to check them out.

After all the out-and-about excitement of the day, I just spent the last few hours of the blogathon challenge at home, drinking marmite, inventing cookie flavours, pondering packaging and dreaming of sleep. At 6am, when the challenge ended, I burst into tears. I was caught off guard by my reaction which came at the end of an exciting but stressful and emotional day.

The support everyone in the community of bloggers and by those who read blogs has been amazing. I can't thank you all enough for your generous contributions of money, comments, moral support and publicity. Cheers to you all!

PS - A big shout also goes to those people who were inspired by my campaign and decided to give to food charities closer to home. Thank you too!

Visit the Food Runners website.

Visit the Blogathon Website.

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$2.5+k Pledged for Food Runners: A Big Blogathon Thank You to Everyone!


  • At 30/7/06 23:26, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    great resume; glad you more than doubled your target; what a pity about the lost photos. Now how are you going to follow this!!

  • At 30/7/06 23:42, Blogger shuna fish lydon said…

    What an exciting, generous, incredible 24 you have just had. And we have had as well, vicariously.

    One day I hope to join the world again without becoming overwhelmed so easily. (A by-product of long term grief they don't tell you about.)

    Thank you for always being such a gorgeous inspiration to those lucky enough to know you and the rest lucky enough to have your words and actions accessible!

    Next year, though, we will want to steal you away to Blogher, where 24 blogging is the norm and you can share yourself with many people.

  • At 30/7/06 23:50, Blogger kishko said…

    congratulations sam! giving of yourself and of your time is true dedication, and your dedication is incredibly admirable. grazie!

  • At 31/7/06 00:47, Blogger Robyn said…

    Holy moly. You dedication is insane.



  • At 31/7/06 04:56, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    Starting without a hangover had to be key!

  • At 31/7/06 10:39, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a wonderful idea and impressive effort you put into the blogathon! Congratulations on your success!


  • At 31/7/06 11:10, Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said…

    I love that you got a photo of that jackass putting his netflix envelope in the mail on top of your post card!

  • At 31/7/06 11:42, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Sam: Generous, dedicated and just gosh-darn lovely, as usual. (I confess I slept through part of it!)

  • At 31/7/06 14:48, Blogger Monkey Gland said…

    You nutjob.

  • At 31/7/06 17:49, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Sam, I had a blast following you for a day in your (very entertaining!) life. Thank you for doing this and reminding us that blogging is about more than just narcissism ;)

  • At 1/8/06 02:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a great job, Sam! A very big well done to you. Such an impressive and generous efforts.

  • At 2/8/06 04:34, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are completely insane, wonderful, and generous.

  • At 2/8/06 09:52, Blogger Sara said…

    Sam you did such a wonderful thing. Well done you!

  • At 4/8/06 12:30, Blogger Sam said…

    thank you every one of you!


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