Saturday, Aug 23, 2014
Out and about

A 1-mile walk, costumed dogs and more will raise funds for American Cancer Society


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Join up with your four-legged best friend for a fun afternoon with fellow dog lovers.

Dogs and their human families will walk at the second annual Hernando County Bark for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

The 1-mile walk will be held Nov. 2 at Notre Dame Catholic School, 1095 U.S, 19 in Spring Hill, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Canine pet registration is $25 at the event and $10 for each additional dog per family.

Allison Nichols, Bark for Life coordinator, said a grass track will be set up on the grounds of the school for the event.

"During the first two laps, we will ask the cancer survivors and their canine companions to walk. During the next two laps, canine cancer survivors and their owners will join in. The following two laps will include all service dogs and their handlers. Everyone will join in for the remainder of the walk," Nichols said.

All proceeds from the event will go to the American Cancer Society.

"Last year in the Suncoast area - serving Citrus, Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties - the American Cancer Society provided 357 patients with 4,357 transportation services to and from treatment; 73 patients received free lodging at one of Florida's Hope Lodges while undergoing treatment; 33 local children and families received support through our Reaching Out to Cancer Kids ROCK program; 18 kids enjoyed camp experience through ROCK Camp; 15 young cancer survivors attended college on a ROCK College Scholarship," Nichols said.

In addition to the 1-mile walk, many fun activities are planned, such as a canine costume event, a parade of breeds by the Hernando County Kennel Club, Paw Prints in Clay and more for man's best friends, plus a kiddie bounce house for the kids.

For the canine costume contest, "there will be prizes for the top three costumes," Nichols said. "In addition to the costume contest, we will have other competition activities for dogs to participate in for a chance to win prizes."

For example, dogs will compete in a longest tongue contest and race in an agility course for the fastest time through basic maneuvers such as jumping through a low hoop, zigging through cones and a short dash.

The costume contest and canine competition are included for those registered to attend.

For the parade of breeds, show dogs from the Hernando County Kennel Club will show their stuff for attendees.

All dogs registered for the Bark for Life event will also have the opportunity to sign up on the day of the event and walk in the parade of breeds.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event.

"Our hospitality sponsor, Nature Coast Parrot Head Club, will be selling breakfast items in the morning, and will sell hot dogs and meal combos at the hot dog bar for lunch. Our Bark Booths will also have snacks such as cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones and more goodies for sale," Nichols said.

Sponsorship opportunities are available and start at $100; Bark Booths are available for $25.

For information, visit www.hernandobarkfor life.org.

Correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at toheatherfrancis@gmail.com.

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