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To my friends, family, and the greater Paleo community:

I wanted to take this opportunity to write a letter of thanks to everyone who has supported my efforts to raise the money I needed to fund my trip to Austin for the PaleoFX Ancestral Momentum – Theory to Practice Symposium in March.

When Diane from Balanced Bites recommended that I ask the Paleo community for donations to support my trip, at first I was very skeptical. First, I didn’t want to come across as being suspicious, greedy, or any of the other negative thoughts that are attributed to someone asking strangers for money. But Diane assured me that if I was just honest and straightforward about my financial situation, that people would be understanding (and when she donated the first chunk of money to me, I knew she truly felt I was in need of some support! Thanks Diane!)

Second, I truly didn’t think that I would find enough people that believed in me enough to want to donate money to help fund my trip. After all, I’m the new kid on the Paleo block, and I didn’t think I’d produced enough valuable information (yet) to warrant people sending me money out of their own free will. As much knowledge I have to share with people, I don’t always have the time to put it all into writing, and I’m still learning new material every day that I need to fully grasp before I try to share it with my readers. After all, the last thing I want to do is misrepresent any information, and I do my best to make sure my opinions are well supported by research. So producing copious amounts of information to provide on my blog has been a bit of a struggle, especially when my schedule is full of waitressing shifts rather than book reading. That’s why I thought to myself, “why would anyone care if I attend PaleoFX? I haven’t proved myself worthy yet…”

The incredible generosity of the Paleo Community has proved me wrong on both counts.

Within one week of asking for donations, I have received enough financial support to pay for my flight and my accommodations while in Austin, and I have had my registration fee waived by the generous organizational team of PaleoFX in exchange for me helping out at the conference.

I am literally speechless.

While I tried to thank everyone who donated individually by emailing them as soon as I received their donation notification from PayPal, I just wanted to take some time to express my gratitude, as best I can, to the following people:

Diane from Balanced Bites
Michael P.
Benjamin M.
Eric U.
Leah B.
Karina S.
Vivienne R.
Jennifer H.
Joseph S.
Dallas and Melissa from Whole9
Arild E.
Anthony from Kasandrinos Imports
John J.
Pamela L. from Practically Primal
Daina C.
Brad K.
Millette A.
Sharon H.
Tyler H.
Tristan R.
Sarah S.
Paul D.
& An Anonymous ‘Angel’ Donor!

There’s really not a whole lot I can say to fully express my gratitude. One week ago, I was telling Diane and other Paleo colleagues how upset I was that I wouldn’t be able to attend PaleoFX. And today, I’ve received enough money from you all to be able to afford my trip. Unreal.

I hope you that have donated will see this as somewhat of an impromptu scholarship fund to help me further my education as a future Paleo/Primal RD.

When I was explaining to a friend about why I was asking for money, I mentioned that there are really no resources for someone like me to find funding for events like this. Sure, if I wanted to attend an ADA-Approved event, I bet Coca-Cola or Hershey’s would be happy to give me a travel stipend. But unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of financial support available for students like me who are desperate to learn as much about Paleo nutrition as possible, but have nowhere to turn to for funding.

I had requested a travel stipend from my university to help fund my attendance of the Weston A. Price Conference, but unfortunately I did not receive any money. I’m at a public university that is pretty strapped for cash, so the money they do have is going to the students doing work that is in concert with the University’s current research goals. I totally understand that logic, but unfortunately, there isn’t any Paleo/WAPF nutrition research going on at my university. So getting funded from any of the typical sources for an RD student has basically been out of the question for me.

This is why I am SO GRATEFUL that you all have decided to contribute your hard-earned money in supporting my expenses in attending this conference.

In return for your generosity, I promise that I will take extensive notes and blog in full detail about the 4 days I spend in Austin. I’ll provide as much detail as possible in describing the knowledge I gain through attending the talks. I’ll post pictures of the people I meet and the food we cook together. I’ll probably talk so much about the event that you’ll be sick of the word “PaleoFX” by the time March 18th rolls around!

If any of you are still reading this thank you letter (impressive), I’ll just close out by saying that I’ve never felt so thoroughly accepted by a community of strangers as I have in the past few months, and I’m so excited that I chose this career path to follow. While getting through the RD-MPH programming will be tough, I know it will be worth it in the end when I can take this degree and start giving the Paleo/WAPF diet the respect and credit it deserves as a therapeutic, biologically appropriate diet.

And I hope that my Paleo educational journey will continue to inspire you along the way!

Sincerely yours,
Laura

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