by Lorie Lewis Ham
This Saturday will be the third annual Bark For Life event in Dinuba. It not only provides some great fun for dog lovers, but helps raise money for the American Cancer Society’s efforts to find a cure for cancer.
“The Bark For Life is an American Cancer Society Relay fundraising event that honors the care giving qualities of our canine Best Friends,” said Janet C. Hinesly, chairperson for the event. “Canine Caregivers are our Canine Companions, Guide Dogs, Service Dogs, Rescue Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Cancer Survivor Dogs, and Diagnostic Dogs.”
The Bark For Life event provides an opportunity to honor people lost to cancer, to fundraise in support of cancer research, education, awareness, patient services, and advocacy–all of which help to eliminate the suffering that cancer causes worldwide. “Canine companions represent unconditional love, joy, security, compassion, and no judgments of human abilities, or appearances,” continued Janet. “The American Cancer Society Bark For Life is an irresistible way to ‘take a bite out of cancer’, smile, and make new friends – canine & human.”
According to Janet, she believes the first Bark For Life was held in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 2002. “I don’t know who deserves credit for the idea, but it’s very effective.” Bark For Life is actually an event within an event. Dinuba Relay For Life utilizes the Bark For Life as a Kick Off to their Relay season that will culminate with their Relay on March 31, 2012. Relay Teams that register online for the 2012 event receive a half price fee of $75 (after November 1 the fee is $150) and will receive 1,000 Spirit Points by coming to Bark For Life to pick up their registration packet.
Last year the group was invited to partner with the City of Dinuba and combine their community event, Dog Days, with the Bark event. In the past, Dog Days was a City sponsored community event that offered dog owners an opportunity for a low cost vaccination and licensing clinic, in a program that had raffles, and games. “The partnership with the City and Dinuba Relay/Bark For Life has been a good marriage,” continued Janet. The City helps with advertising, facility use, and staff support, which has allowed Bark to expand their community outreach. “We now reach community members outside the Relay event which has given us a new audience for cancer education.”
The committee for this year’s event includes people from the Relay Planning Committee, Dinuba City staff and Relay Team members. Also on the committee are members of the Low family who donated the land for the Nebraska Dog Park. “Their (Low family) story is a fascinating and moving story in itself,” shared Janet. “They are generous in volunteering to work day of event, providing the awards for the different competition categories, providing raffle prizes, and other goodies for the bag each registered person/canine receives.”
There is no charge for vendors, just a request to donate a raffle prize. This year they have expanded their vendors to include Health Care Providers and Fitness/Nutrition Businesses. Vendors so far include: dog groomers, an Animal Sanctuary with adoptable dogs and possibly cats, 4 Relay Teams doing team fund raising, Dinuba Fire Department promoting fire prevention, Mary Kay Cosmetics, American Cancer Society, a local Medical Clinic, Pena’s Disposal with games and promotional give a ways, Animal Boarding, an Arson Dog, a vendor selling doggie bows and offering full face painting, and free face painting by City Recreation Department.
On Saturday, October 15, the Program will be:
Vendor check in and set up between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
All vendors must be ready to sell by 10:30 a.m.
Dog Registration and Relay Team check in starts at 10:30 a.m.
11:00 a.m. the program begins;
• 2012 Dinuba Chair Persons, Marion Buller &
• Dee Ann Stailey welcome and introduce the Low Family,
City Officials, and the master of ceremonies, Jim Hinesly.
* Invocation & Blessing of the Dogs by Pastor Frances Liebert,
Dinuba Methodist Church
* Flag Salute, Miss Dinuba Krysten Carrion
* DOG PARADE around the Dog Park, cancer survivors with
or without pets lead, registered dogs and owners, followed by
* Sheryl Wall Dog Agility presentation.
* Competition begins; Sit, musical chair type event
Best Dog/Owner look alike
Best Tail Wag
Best Roll over
Best Special Talent
Purple Pride, dog & owner wearing the most purple in support of Cancer Awareness, Finding a Cure. Raffle Prizes will be drawn throughout the event. Lion’s Club is offering hot dogs and drink for a small donation.
So if you love dogs, come on out for some fun and help raise money for a great cause all at the same time!
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