By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator

Lisa awarding a prize at the 1st Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off

Lisa awarding a prize at the 1st Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off

By now you’ve heard the news I’m sure: registration is open for the 6th Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off! What does that mean for me? Not that I don’t love my job all the time, but around this time of the year, I REALLY love it. As in, jump out of bed each morning, can’t wait to run to the office love it.

And I’m not even involved in the most fun aspects of planning such an event, like sifting through all the delicious entries or putting together prize packs.

Nope, I’m doing things like processing credit cards for registration payments, updating the website, and checking our database to see if contestants’ TVA memberships are up to date. But just knowing that these things are in relation to the bake-off makes them so fun to me and puts a smile on my face.

I get giddy every time we receive a phone call or an email from someone inquiring about the bake-off or wanting to participate. I get distracted from other tasks as I keep checking my email to see if I have any questions or updates from Natalie (the incredible woman who coordinates most aspects of the bake-off these days, from her home in Peterborough, with two tiny children by her side to boot!). If she asks anything of me, I drop whatever I’m doing and get on it.

I can still remember, very shortly after I first began working at the Toronto Vegetarian Association, meeting Lisa Pitman for the first time. She was one of our Resource Centre volunteers back then, and being the newby, I had come in to join her and the other Wednesday volunteers so that I could meet them and learn about how the RC operates. Lisa casually mentioned she was thinking of hosting a  vegan bake-off in a local park. I thought that sounded so fun!

A few months later, she had put together the loveliest little event in Grange Park.  It was the first time anything like this had happened for vegans in Toronto, and you wouldn’t believe the effort people had put into their dishes. Click here to read a recap of the first event.

My how it is has grown since then. It’s become much too large for a couple of volunteers to organize single-handedly, and staff at TVA have become more involved over the years. But I’m certainly not complaining. It’s absolutely fabulous to get to take part in organizing such an amazing celebration with such a fun and dedicated group of people. Let the countdown begin…!

Click here to register for this year’s bake-off or learn more.