That's right! The dust has barely settled from 2017's event, but we're off to the races and determined to make next year's Nest Pet Expo another incredible event!
Things we're working on:
1) Animals! We're planning to stun and amaze with the variety of animals in arms reach next year!
2) Vendors! Our dream is to one day fill the entire grounds of the Eagle's Healing Nest with vendors, crafters, local businesses, and activity booths for the whole family. We won't sleep until we hit 80 registered vendors for 2018's event! (Ok, we'll sleep...but we'll also work really hard!)
3) Community and Veteran Organizations! We want them all to join us! We're celebrating animals, Veterans and the community, and the very best way to do that is TOGETHER!
4) Non-Profit Partners! We're working to do the absolute MOST good we can by partnering with a select group of other local non-profits! Why limit the good we can do to just one amazing organization?!
Mark your calendars, find us on Facebook, and tell your friends! We can't wait!
Wow! Just 10 days until Nest Pet Expo 2017! Raise your hand if you're excited!! **raises both hands**
There are so many awesome things happening this year at the Expo! The event has grown leaps and bounds since last year, and we're overjoyed to say we've already raised more than $4,000 for the Nest, before the event even starts! How awesome is that!?
The day of Nest Pet Expo 2017, we're flooding the Nest with as many animals as we could find! Quistorff's Little Bita Everything Ranch is coming with their exotic animals (11:00 to 3:00). The University of Minnesota Raptor Center will have a bald eagle and other raptors on site too (11:00 to 3:00)! Pope County Humane Society will be on hand with their amazing volunteers, who are also bringing draft horses!
Ellie's Legacy Pet Rescue is bringing some adoptable animals. MN Dog Guard's Corey Doebber is bringing some of Lacey's Puppies! Central Lakes Search and Rescue teams will be on site to answer questions and provide demonstrations throughout the day (they're soooo cool!). Glacial Ridge Vet's Dr. Danielle will have her dogs out for agility demonstrations, and our Sauk Centre Police Department K9 Unit will be providing demonstrations too! We'll have some surprise animal guests as well!
You might be asking...why animals? The relationships we build with animals can heal parts of us that people just can't. The Veterans at the Nest know this as well as anyone does. Through their partnership with Patriot Assistance Dogs, many Veterans have found or trained their dogs to help manage PTSD and other service-related conditions. Patriot Assistance will be joining us for the event to answer questions and advocate for service dogs! K9s From Carrie is a fellow non-profit dedicated to healing people through relationships with animals - they know the value of a furry companion, and will be answering questions at the event too!
The Nest is also home to their own animals - the barn is full of love, along with service dogs, cats and an eagle or two that nest in the area! The Freedom Dog House is the future home of Veterans that will pay it forward - training service dogs for other Veterans. This event is helping to make that dream a reality.
Making a long story just a little longer... you won't want to miss this! By the way, your friendly (leashed) pets are welcome to the event too! Join us!
Calling all coloring experts! We're looking for coloring contest entrants for the Nest Pet Expo this year! We'll have prizes for each age group, and winners will have their entry displayed at the Eagle's Healing Nest the day of the Pet Expo!
Print a copy of the entry form below, or pick it up from some of the community businesses that will have them on display in April and May (we'll post a list). One entry is allowed per child, and they must come to the Pet Expo to pick up their prizes!
Mail entries in no later than May 25th so they can be included. Address is on the coloring form. There's also a coupon on the coloring form for your kids to bring to get a free gift at the gate!
This year's Nest Pet Expo is June 3rd from 10 am to 4 pm. We can't wait to see the entries, and we can't wait to see you all there!
Planning for the 2017 Nest Pet Expo is in full swing! If you are or know a vendor, crafter, small business or large business that is interested in attending, contact us! We have room for everyone and are looking forward to making this an amazing annual community activity!
For-profit vendors can register to attend for $25. The booth areas are approximately 12' x 12' and will be outside.
Businesses or groups that provide a booth with a game or activity for kids aren't charged a registration fee. This is a great way for your organization or business to interact with our community!
We hope you can join us!
One of the most amazing things about social media is how it brings people together. It's incredible! Just like the day of Nest Pet Expo 2016! Wow!
We can't WAIT until next year! In the meantime, we're so grateful for everyone that attended, took pictures, and had a great time. We'll always be able to look back at them here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1679419982319550/
Until next year, THANK YOU!!!
We have a lot of really fun stuff planned, but the fun continues even after you leave, if the kiddos come along and participate in all of the great stuff!
1. If you come by between 11 am and 2 pm, they get to take away an appreciation for the less-common animals that are going to be there! Quistorff's Little Bita Everything Ranch has some really cool creatures joining us, and you can learn about all of them in the petting zoo area!
2. If they're one of the first 1,000 kids to come by, we have goodie bags for them! They can use the bags to collect more goodies and prizes as they walk around and talk with vendors and play some of the games that we have! Don't forget - there's no entry fee for the event, and the games and bounce houses are free to play in! (We have grab bags for the first 500 grown-ups too!)
3. The first 1,000 kids to stop by and chat with the volunteers with the American flag get to keep one! Parents get to sign the piece of art we have, and leave a lasting mark supporting our Veterans at the Nest! The flags were donated by Bob Walsh Enterprises in Osakis, MN. Thanks guys!!
4. If you bring a few dollars, they'll leave with a full tummy! The Nest is selling lunch and ice cream as their main fundraising activity for this event. You can show them the love by joining them for lunch right next to where all of the great stuff is happening!
5. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children sent us their Child ID Kits - take one home, complete it, and keep it in a safe place in case of emergency. While you're there, check out the Central Lakes Search and Rescue team's 2:00 safety class so your kids (and you) know what to do if you get lost! They have a 12:00 demonstration happening also!
6. We have a couple coloring crafts that your kiddos can take home also, including a drawing by one of the Nest's own Veterans and volunteers! We also have some really cool paper plate animals ready to draw on, customize, and take home!
Come for all of the fun things to see and do, and leave with a little piece of the magic!
The 1st Annual Nest Pet Expo is just 9 days away. NINE!! We're excited, if you can't tell!
To celebrate how close it is, here are 9 of the many things you're not going to want to miss!
1. Veteran-owned organizations and organizations dedicated to Veterans are joining us, along with many Veterans and their families! So you'll be in good company!
Some of them are:
2. We're basically having a pet adoption extravaganza! Some really great rescue organizations are joining us, with some of their adoptable animals. It will be a great place to meet a bunch of animals if you're thinking about adopting!
3. We have cool stuff for your pets! Handmade goods, treats and great places to shop in our local area, along with some really talented groomers and trainers!
4. We have some cool things for you and your family to see and learn about!
5. We have gifts - spoil yourself or do some shopping for upcoming birthdays! The first 500 adults get a grab bag with some cool stuff inside!
6. You could also win some prizes! We have a raffle table with donated items from some of our vendors! They include:
7. We have activities for the kids! AND the first 1,000 kids get a grab bag at the entrance with some cool stuff inside!
8. We've got your lunch too! The Nest is serving up a great lunch for a small price, and ICE CREAM! $1 gets you a cone AND helps the Nest with their mission of helping Veterans! Come hungry!
9. You can bring your pets! Not many local events welcome animals like we do - if you can leash or cage your pet, they're friendly, and they want to come along, they're welcome! Bring them to enjoy the day with you! We won't allow retractable leashes and unfriendly pets will be asked to leave.
We already posted about why we're putting on this Pet Expo (HERE). We're passionate about this event for all of those reasons, plus one more. It's a big one, and it's hard to talk about.
The painful reason behind the passion that has pulled people together from all walks of life, from all over the state, to a common goal is this: Veterans commit suicide at an alarming rate. The Department of Veteran's Affair's last estimate was 22 per day.
The highest instance of suicides are within the first 3 years after the Veteran leaves military service - for reasons that are pretty easy to understand. In the military, we have structure, a purpose, comrades, we're accountable. Then suddenly, after 4 years or 20 years, we're on our own. Even without the trauma many have seen and experienced, or the injuries many have sustained, the shift to civilian life trips up the best of us.
The Eagle's Healing Nest works to help Veterans through this transition period. They work with Veterans, their families and their loved ones, with one goal - to help the Veteran with transition back to life outside the military. The Nest is an answer. The programs they offer are an answer. The help they provide is tangible, and they do save lives.
Events at the Nest aren't about the event. They're about raising awareness for the Nest, reaching more Veterans, and putting the resources in the hands of the Veterans that need them. They're about raising funds for the campus, which will create more space, which will save more lives. They're about showing the Veterans at the Nest that they are part of our community now, and our community is grateful for their service.
This very passionate "why" is why we're so grateful for everyone that has already made plans to attend the First Annual Nest Pet Expo, and why we're hoping you'll join us as well!
Owner, Off Leash K9 Training, Central MN
Operation Iraqi Freedom Army Veteran
1. When rescues (like the awesome ones we have coming) attend events, their adoptable animals can't stay all day. If it's warm, or if they are greeting a lot of people, the animals get tired. They need breaks like we do! So...if you come in the morning there may be different animals there to meet in the afternoon!
2. We have really cool demonstrations and speakers scheduled throughout the day!
11:00 Police K9 Demonstration by Sauk Centre Police Department
11:30 Lisa Riley Speaking on Behalf of MOVES-Minnesota Outreach for Veterans with Epilepsy and Seizures
12:00 Central Lakes Search and Rescue Demonstration
1:00 Off Leash K9 Training, Central MN Hide and Seek Demonstration
1:30 Bonnie Gallagher Speaking on Behalf of K9s From Carrie
2:00 Central Lakes Search and Rescue Kid's Safety Class
3. We have Quistorff's Little Bita Everything Ranch Petting Zoo coming with all kinds of animals from 11:00 until 2:00! They're bringing animals I've never even heard of, and can't pronounce, so it's sure to be a fun part of the event! Visit their area when you arrive, and then check back again before you leave to learn about the animals and the fun things they do!
4. When you're done visiting all of the crafters, vendors and informational booths, you'll still have TONS of things to see and do! Click HERE to see just 17 of them!
5. The folks at the Nest will be giving tours of the grounds (they're gorgeous!) throughout the day. You can learn about the history of the campus, how they've created the healing environment they have now, and how you can get involved if you like! They'll also be giving tours of the Dog House, the Nest's newest building, which will be home to their Veterans with or working with service dogs! The folks at the Nest will also be serving food (for a fee) and $1 ice cream cones! So you can have lunch, walk around and enjoy all of sights and sounds, take a tour, then go back for ice cream when you're ready!
The Nest Pet Expo is a family and pet friendly activity day celebrating animals and everything they do for us! We have a special focus on kids and making sure this is a fun day for them. Check out 17 of the fun things they can do while they're here:
1. COLORING! Jack, a fellow Veteran, teaches an art class each Monday for the Veterans at the Nest. He was kind enough to design and hand-draw this coloring page for the Pet Expo! Kids can color them during the event and take them home OR leave them with us - we'll put them in a book and give them to Jack to show him some love! We'll also have some paper plate animals for the kiddos to color and take home!
2. ANIMALS! You won't find a cooler collection of animals this close to home! We're talking a bearded dragon, marmoset monkeys, kinkajous, coatimundi, chinchillas, ferrets, hedgehogs, a lizard, a HUGE snake, a tortoise, parrots, an otter, an African porcupine and more! Awesome, right?!
3. MORE ANIMALS! We can't forget the working K9s, Search and Rescue dogs, adoptable cats and dogs, hunting dogs and puppies!
4. BOUNCE HOUSES! Doggie Stylz Grooming and the Sauk Centre Rotary have sponsored two really fun bounce houses! Kruzin' for the Kidz is going to help with them - that's right - BIKERS. How cool!! Speaking of Kruizin' for the Kidz...
5. FACE PAINTING, CRAZY HAIR and TATTOOS?! Yep! Kruizin' for the Kidz is going to give kids of all ages a little style - don't miss this booth!
6. POLICE K9 DEMONSTRATION! There's nothing cooler than seeing a team that protects our community in action - talk about inspiring! Join us at 11:00 to see what the Sauk Centre K9 Unit does for the community!
7. MARSHMALLOW GUNS! Trisko Heating & Plumbing is helping kids make marshmallow guns to take home! Get to this booth early, before supplies run out! But don't worry - they'll still have fun stuff going on, even if they do!
8. ICE CREAM! Your $1 ice cream cone purchase will directly help fund the Nest! Scrounge up some change from the car or the sofa and enjoy a refreshing treat yourself - you deserve it! The Nest will have lunch available for purchase too!
9. DANCING! DJ4U has very graciously donated his talents for the day! He'll have family-friendly jams rocking all day!
10. SEARCH AND RESCUE SAFETY CLASS! Safety can be fun! Especially when there are dogs involved! Central Lakes Search and Rescue will be doing a demonstration at 12:00 AND a safety class at 2:00! They'll show kids what to do if they get lost outside so search teams can find them faster!
11. CANDY! The first 1,000 kiddos get a grab bag at the entrance with some candy, that they get to use to collect more candy, prizes, treats, etc. as they enjoy the day and visit each booth/vendor! We have Coburns in Sauk Centre, Taste of Heaven, and Dog Guard Fence to thank for the sugar highs starting at the entrance! Thanks guys!!
12. GAMES! The expansive yard at the Nest is the PERFECT place for yard games, so that's just what we'll be doing! Giant Jenga and Kerplunk, a ball pit, a rubber duckie matching game, cornhole, ball toss, animal beach balls, and lots more. Too. Much. Fun.
13. BALLOONS! A few great community organizations/businesses donated and allowed us to purchase balloons and the Long Prairie VFW has donated helium, to allow us to give the kids balloons to bop around the event with! Yay!
14. GIFTS! We have crafters and vendors selling all kinds of gifts - even some made by kids! Girl Scout Troop 171 has made paracord dog collars and will be selling them at the event! How cool! Handmade goods, and for great causes!
15. THEY CAN BRING THEIR PETS! Whatever your kids have - if they can be leashed or caged, and they're friendly toward people and other animals - can come along for the event! We love animals!
16. ACTIVITIES! Many of the booths will offer games and activities for the kiddos as they walk around - we don't even know what all of them are yet! We'll be as surprised and delighted as you!
Lastly, the most important one...
17. LET VETERANS SEE WHAT THEY FOUGHT FOR! Some Veterans have anxiety about large crowds, some will get overwhelmed by the day, and you may not get to meet all of them. BUT Veterans (myself included) went to war and fought for our families, friends and communities to be FREE to celebrate events like this! If you don't join us for any other reason, join us to thank the Veterans at the Nest for securing your kids' futures. Don't forget to leave your mark on the huge sign we'll have there showing your support for our Veterans!