PALMER— Delisa Renideo, a Palmer resident and President of the Alaska Vegan Society, recently provided a question and answer interview to discuss her nonprofit organization and upcoming event in Anchorage this Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m at the Alaska Pacific University Grant Hall.
So what is Veg-Fest all about?
“You get to see three fabulous speakers [Brenda Davis, RD; Jenny Brown; Emily Boller]. We have entertainment. We’ve got the Underground Dance Company… They came two years ago and they’re fabulous. We’ve got door prizes and healthy, substantial, delicious snacks. It’s going to be a very fun event, as well as very informative and inspirational.”
When did you found the Alaska Vegan Society?
“A small group of us started it in 2002.”
So what was the original inspiration behind getting this group together?
“Well, because we wanted to make a positive difference in the world and we wanted to help provide education and inspiration to people, to help them make lifestyle choices that would make the world a better place- and a plant based diet does that in many various ways…So people would know what to do and how to do it and then have a group of people to provide support for theme as they make those changes.
What’s your mission?
“Our vision is to bring healing and harmony to the world.”
Do you have help?
“Yeah, absolutely. We have a board of directors and they’re all founding members.”
How many years have you held Veg-fest?
“This is the sixth year… The Veg-Fest, it’s a big deal kind of a thing that we work on for months to pull it together.”
Do you have other events throughout the year?
“We have a vegan Thanksgiving dinner. We have a center piece holiday roast and we have all the trimmings like mashed potatoes and gravy and you know, yams and pumpkin pie, and all the things you associate. But, it’s a 100 percent vegan, meaning all plant based. It’s delicious. We do it on Thanksgiving Day to give people way to celebrate… without saying, ‘Well, I guess I’ll just eat a salad.’”
That makes it a little more fun. What other events do you have?
We have a picnic in the summer and we have an Earth Day program but these are all kind of merged in with our monthly get together.
So really, the Veg-Fest is your big to-do for the year?
So after six years of doing this have you noticed an upward trend of more people coming to the events?
“Yeah, it’s grown a little bit every year... We really do want to invite just the general public. This is not just for vegans and vegetarians. This is for everybody so that everybody can learn that what we eat matters- even if it was only for our health… We have a huge amount of power just by choosing the right lifestyle, to be healthy.”
There’s a discount for pre-registering to the event and still time left. Online pre-registration is $50 and due by 4 p.m. on Friday. Day of registration is $60 and available at the door.
The Alaska Vegan Society meets on the last Saturday of every month at the United Protestant Presbyterian Church in Palmer.
For more information, call 907-232-5144. To register for Veg-Fest, visit alaskaveg.org
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org