The Year According to Our Mascot

By Giraffe

Hi there! Giraffe here. Duarte’s official mascot and unofficial story archivist.

I’ll cut to the chase, it’s been a helluva year. Before we go careening any further into 2015, I wanted to reflect on everything that happened in the past 365 days. At least what we caught in photos and video.

I got passed around the office in the name of gratitude more times than I can count. I attended parties and events, I worked hard, I worked late, I worked from home, and I’m definitely going to start working out. Soon.

I made lots of new friends – and I’m looking for a few more

I got to hear eight amazing speakers share personal stories at our third edition of SpeakUp.


Then I got to be the star of the show on our Miniature Photo Field Trip.


I did a cleanse during Wellness Week. (It wasn’t too hard since all I eat are greens anyway.)

Then had my first, and last, hot dog during an eating contest at our annual Summer Picnic.

I made art and drank wine. (Don’t worry, I’m 21 in giraffe years.)

I mourned the loss of our only aquatic Duartian — and my BFF — a betta fish named Sid Fishous. We honored him with a proper viking funeral.

Sid Fishous

I shed a few tears as Mark Duarte shared his personal artwork at our 21st Gallery Opening.


I wore a Halloween costume and ate candy and caramel apples and pie at our first annual Fall Festival. And then I shed a few more tears when I saw how much food we collected for our Food Drive.

Then I went horse cheering for Paula during her Birthday Smash.


I tried my best to help craft our year-end Christmas message, but, well, hooves.

Looking back on it all, I can’t believe we fit so much good stuff in a year. My belly and my heart are full. And I know that none of it would be possible without our friends, and fans, and clients.

So, for all you’ve done in 2014, I’d like to pass myself to you.

Cheers to a wonderful year, and many more to come.

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