Friday, December 16, 2011

One Heck of a Bake Sale!!

Five years ago, Corby Bryant, with the help of her mother and co-worker, started raising money for non-profit organizations by selling tasty treats which they created in the hopes of making a difference in their community.

This year, the ladies made a difference in the lives of our animals by preparing, packaging, and selling beautifully craft treats for humans and dogs at their annual Bake Sale held last Monday in the lobby of Premier Place building, Dallas, Texas.

In-Sync Exotics’ Cat Tales caught up with the very busy Corby Bryant to learn more about the fundraising event!

Cat Tales:  Corby!  Congratulations to you and your team for another successful bake sale.  There was an incredible amount of tasty treats on the tables, which got us all wondering, when do you start preparing for the bake sale?

Corby:  Several weeks before the baking begins, we plan for the sale by purchasing the packaging and baking supplies.  We also brainstorm on ways we can optimize our efforts through marketing, press releases, direct mailers, sponsorships, etc.  We discuss what worked the previous years and what didn’t, so we can always keep improving and growing our event!

Cat Tales:  What about the food?  When do you start baking?  The day before the event?

Corby:  Oh, no!  We usually start baking Thanksgiving weekend with items that freeze beautifully, like the breads and cakes.  We’ll bake and freeze the remaining items the following weekend and then on the third and final weekend we package the treats and bake all the last minute items that we don’t like to freeze, like candies and some cookies. 

On the last weekend, we recruited several “elves” (my mom, brother and niece) to help us with the packaging.  I was amazed that my “contractor” brother was really good at decorating the baskets and tying ribbon bows!  Who knew he was so talented! 

Needless to say, we had our incidents:  cuts, burns, glitter-covered cats, botched recipes, etc.  But you know, it wouldn’t be a baking marathon without these unavoidable challenges!

Cat Tales:  Wow!  So you must have a huge baking crew working hard each weekend?

Corby:  No, just me, Janet Bryant (my mom), Kristen and Lauren Poleski (sisters and my co-workers), Susan Moore (Lauren’s boyfriend’ mom) and the drafted elves. That’s the crew!

Cat Tales:  Since the fundraiser was held in the lobby of the building, did you catch the eyes of many passers-by?  Were you very busy?

Corby:  Except for a little lull at the beginning of the day as people were rushing to get to their offices, we were busy until 5:30pm.  Having the opportunity to be in the lobby was HUGE for us since folks who were coming to the bank had to go through us first!

Cat Tales:  With all the people coming and going from the event, does anyone stand out in particular?

Corby:  What stands out in my mind are all of the touching moments.  We met the most awesome people!  One young man chatted with a volunteer for a while, and then came over to pick out one bread or cake, and then handed Lauren a folded bill, saying ‘keep the change’.  Once he walked off, she saw that he had handed her $300! 

We had several ladies who were so touched at the [In-Sync Exotics] cats’ stories that they were speechless and in tears.  Anyone who doesn’t think the world is full of tender-hearted people should come spend the day with us at next year’s sale!

Cat Tales:  Meow, meow!!  Thank you for sharing this with us! 

Corby:  I’d also like to recognize our only sponsor, City Vet, who supported us for a second year.  They were incredible!  Not only did they sponsor us, but at least three or four of their employees came by to shop.  One lady spent close to $200!

I’d also like to thank Pet Supplies Plus as they allowed us to display fliers in the Mockingbird Lane store, and Lifetime Fitness allowed their sales staff to distribute fliers!

And the sale wouldn’t be possible at all without the building’s management company, allowing us to host the fundraiser in the building’s lobby!  We are very thankful for their support!!

And last, but not least, we’re thankful for our boss’ support and tolerance with all the bake sale chat that went on during the fall.

Cat Tales:  Well, two large and small paws up plus lots of loud lion roars to your boss, sponsor, supporters, and your building management company for helping make this event so successful.  It sounds like it was truly a team effort!

Corby:  Speaking of team effort, I’d like to thank the In-Sync volunteers, Jodi Payson (Board Director), Whitney Davis, Lisa Williams (Board Director), and Debbie Congdon for helping us at the Bake Sale!  We got to visit with them before it got real busy and learned more about In-Sync Exotics.  It was so helpful to have them there to answer questions for people so that we could assist our hungry customers!

Cat Tales:  Jodi Payson shared with us that one of the volunteers, Lisa Williams, brought her 2012 In-Sync Exotics’ calendar with her to show customers some of the cats living at In-Sync Exotics when lo and behold, a man liked it so much he bought the calendar from her!

Corby:  It was a great experience, and we definitely know that we chose the right charity for this year’s sale!

Cat Tales:  So….where there any leftovers? 

Corby:  We did have a few leftovers, which we sent back with Debbie Congdon to sell to the [In-Sync Exotics’] volunteers so that the revenue could hopefully keep streaming in!  We didn’t want to see one more cookie after that day!

Cat Tales:  Okay, and now for the great news – Corby, can you share with us how much you raised for the animals at In-Sync Exotics, please?

Corby:  As of Wednesday evening, our total was $3,817, so we’re just $183 short of our goal and we still have money coming in!  We should reach or exceed our goal with no problem.  We’re also hoping that we are going to have our sales matched, which will double the contribution!

Cat Tales:  That’s absolutely amazing!  Again, congratulations in making a difference in the lives of our animals! 

Corby:  Thanks!  We’re pretty excited ourselves.  $4000 in a one day sale with just 4 girls baking (plus some help with brownies and buckeyes from one coworker’s boyfriend’s mom) is surprising even to us, after 5 years of doing this.  It just boils down to motivation…how much do we want to raise money for the “wild ones”?  You can do a lot when you really want to!

Cat Tales:  Any suggestions on how we should spend the money?

Corby:  We would like for the money to be used in any way that In-Sync wants to.  It would be awesome to help Sam and Kodi [cheetahs] get their new home, but we’re equally happy with the money going towards anything else that might be more pressing, like a vet bill.

Cat Tales:  You can be assured, Corby, the money raised in the Christmas Bake Sale will definitely go towards the care and housing of the cats! We just have one last one last question for you…Interested in fundraising for us again next year??

Corby:  I can’t imagine why we would not!

Well, there you have it folks!  A small group of people got together with a plan to help our animals, and then put their plan into action by holding a successful fundraising event.  Their efforts not only raised money for our cats and Nugget, but assisted us in spreading the word about In-Sync Exotics’ mission to help those animals most other sanctuaries are unable or unwilling to accept due to health or age-related problems. 

Thank you baking crew!  You guys are awesome!!.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Who Is This Mystery Santa Tiger?

You just know we just couldn't resist "decking the halls"  of  this handsome tiger's home with just a few Christmas decorations!  Who is this mystery Santa tiger?

Want a clue?  Okay, mystery tiger, pleases describe yourself!
Well, I am one of three white tigers living at In-Sync Exotics. My brothers and I did not arrive at In-Sync Exotics on the same day, but we did come from the same private breeder who could no longer care for us.

I recently went to see my dentist at Texas A&M and he had to perform some dental surgery which I did not like at the time, but now I am doing so much better! Do you know who I am yet?
Okay folks, you know the drill!  If you think you know who the mystery tiger is, please post your response to this posting (not on Facebook as we don't want to give way the correct response)!  We'll release every one's comments on Friday's posting! 

To learn more about all our mystery cats and coatimundi, please visit Our Residents' page for more fun facts and information about our animals!

Tomorrow we will report on the Christmas bake sale that was held on Monday, so stay tuned for some great news!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In-Sync Exotics' Cat Tales Wants to Hear From YOU!

Dear In-Sync Exotics' Cat Tales...
Thank you for reading our blog!  We hope you find our postings fun, informative, and exciting to read each week. 

Since the inception of In-Sync Exotics' Cat Tales on July 20th of this year, we've been reporting stories that are of an interest to us.  Now, we'd like to know what stories you want to see published (as it pertains to In-Sync Exotics only please)!

We plan on writing a weekly or monthly Q & A post, depending on the amount of questions received, where YOU get to ask the questions about our cats or coatimundi and we post our responses in the blog!

So if you have an interesting story you'd like for us to report or if you have a question about our cats or Nugget, click here and let us know what's on your mind.  You can even submit suggestions on what you'd like to see in our on-line Gift Shop!  Please note,  we will only post stories or questions containing the author's name and city/state.  Oh, and as a reminder, please do not send solicitations or inappropriate comments or suggestions to the Cat Tales' suggestion "box."  We have the right not to post any comments or stories that we or our readers may find offensive in nature.  Thank you so much. 

We look forward to hearing from you in the near future, and again, thank you for reading In-Sync Exotics' Cat Tales!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How Our Volunteers Celebrate Christmas With The Cats!

Every year our volunteers celebrate Christmas with the cats and each other--and this year was no exception!

There were so many great pictures taken at the event, thanks to Karin Saucedo and Jodi Payson, that it was just too hard to select a few to show off on this posting.  So, we put together a short presentation with lots of adorable pictures so you can see for yourself how our volunteers celebrate 'Christmas with the Cats!'



Monday, December 12, 2011

A Second Chance At In-Sync Exotics!

Hello Chance!
On Friday afternoon we welcomed Chance, a 7-month old bobcat to our sanctuary! 

Chance was voluntarily re-linguished from his previous owners, who took excellent care of him during his early kitten months.

Chance  was born wild underneath the couple's home in July 2011.   Not realizing that a mother bobcat bore a kitten under their home, the couple inadvertently chased off the adult bobcat from the property.  By the time the couple realized there was a week old kitten living under their home, it was too late to reunite the baby with its mother.  Chance was now alone in the world.

The couple did not want to abandon the kitten to its fate, so they decided to raise the small wild cat themselves.  Chance received excellent care during his early kitten months from this loving couple--he received veterinary care, was up-to-date on his shots, and neutered.  They even went the extra mile to research the proper supplements for a bobcat kitten and ensured all his nutrutional needs were met.

Bobcats, like other wild cats, are prohibited as "pets" in certain Texas counties, and therefore, the couple wanting to obey the law and provide Chance with a "second chance" at life, decided that re-homing him was in the best interest of the young cat.

We are honored that the couple decided to place Chance with us and that this was not a rescue situation.  We will do everything we can to ensure he has a wonderful life at In-Sync Exotics.  

Chance now lives in an enclosure next to Isaac and Lydia.  Since Chance is not acclimated to the outdoor weather, we have installed a heater behind his shelter so he will stay warm during the cold nights.

Bless his little heart, he was feeling scared and lost without his former family, until they came out yesterday for a visit.  After the visit, Chance seemed a little more at ease in his new home.

Hopefully in time, we can introduce the young kitten to Isaac and Lydia and he can form a special bond with our beautiful two bobcats.

A nighttime picture of shy little Chance

So welcome home, Chance!  We are blessed to have you with us!