For the second year in a row, the dogs are taking over for a good cause.
On Oct. 20, the second annual Santa Clarita Valley Bark For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society will be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Bridgeport Park in Valencia.
Organizers are inviting dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages – and their owners – to come walk the mile-long loop around the park and help raise money for cancer research and patient services.
On Aug. 8, organizers will be at The Lazy Dog Café with information on the walk; the restaurant is donating 15 percent of the day’s proceeds to Bark for Life.
Last year’s Bark for Life involved nearly a hundred dogs and their humans and raised $12,000 for the American Cancer Society, exceeding their $5,000 goal by nearly threefold. This year, awareness of the event is high, along with the hopes of the organizers, so the sky is the limit.
Bottom line is, it’s a great cause and a good excuse to get out and walk in the park.
Last year’s Bark featured more than a dozen teams, including the Real Dogs Of Stevenson Ranch, It’s A Doggone Shame, ‘Tis Pitty There’s No Cure and a team that took the nod for most fitting name, The Butt Sniffers.
Patterned loosely after the ACS’s Relay For Life, in which walkers stay on a track for 24 hours to illustrate that cancer never sleeps (although relay teams can take turns walking), Bark for Life considers the companionship and comfort offered by dogs to owners dealing with cancer – and in some cases, the owners who are dealing with their dog’s own cancer.
“Bark is such a unique event in that it looks at dogs as the amazing caregivers that they are,” said Candy Spahr, who chaired the 2011 event and is co-chairing the 2012 walk with Donna Nuzzi. “They are there to support and they love unconditionally.”
Last year’s walkers were led by cancer survivor Heather Warrick, who brought her bulldogs out for a day at the park. Along with Warrick were fellow cancer survivors, both human and canine, at the head of the pack.
Vendors selling pet-related items and volunteers from the Castaic Animal Shelter were there for participants to do some shopping or find a new furr-ever friend. Spahr says that they’re hoping to attract more vendors, including veterinarians and pet stores who might have a booth and support their own teams of customers or clients.
Hours for the kick-off fundraiser Wednesday, August 8 at The Lazy Dog Café, are 11 a.m. and midnight. Visit the website below for a flyer, which must be presented for Bark for Life to get the credit.
Interested veterinarians or potential vendors should visit the website www.SCVBark.org, where teams are already being formed and donations may also be made.