By Sarah Wibell
Want to celebrate your four-legged family member while supporting cancer research and the Humane Society? There’s a fun way to do this right here in Madison! Bark for Life takes place April 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Bill Wood Park (formerly Heritage Park) with activities for the whole family. Yes, that means the ones without tails, too!
“It’s a celebration of your four-legged, tail-wagging family member. There are things for the dogs to do and things for the people and their children to do, and there is good food at a good price,” Beth Bradley, organizer of the fundraising event, explained. People can come out to the park to have fun and help two non-profits at the same time: the Morgan County Relay for Life and the Humane Society of Morgan County. Bradley, a 25 year cancer survivor who describes herself as a “foster dog failure” after adopting two supposedly temporary pups, first organized Bark for Life six years ago.
There is a short opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Afterward, there will be demonstrations with search and rescue dogs, a bounce house, balloon animals, Doc 103.9 FM, face painting, and photos with your dog. There will even be doggy contests with various categories including best trick, dog/owner look alike, and best costume. Medals will be awarded by the judges.
All of these activities are included when you register your dog for only $20. Your fuzzy family member will receive a bandana, dog toy, and goodie bag. If you register before March 28, a Bark for Life t-shirt is included for the owner! Want an additional t-shirt? The tops can be purchased without registering until March 28. You can also sign up at the event, though t-shirts will no longer be available. All proceeds will be split between the Morgan County Relay for Life and the Humane Society of Morgan County.
Registration forms are available in hard copy at the Humane Society and Mainstreet Vet or you can call Bradley for an electronic copy. This event has grown every year; the goal for 2018 is 50 dogs with their families.
Lunch will be available for only $3 per person with hotdogs and hamburgers, potato chips, and a drink made available through donations from Ingles and Walmart. There will be a lot happening, so feel free to bring a chair and stay a while.
Don’t have a dog but want to share in the fun? No problem! Everyone is welcome to come and take part, except for cats. Bradley stated, “It’s a passion for me. This is my big event for the year, and I get very excited about it. I want people to come and have a good time.”
Businesses can also make donations. As a thank you, signs promoting these businesses will be displayed at the event.
To contact Bradley, call: (770) 377-9244.
To contact the Humane Society of Morgan County, call: (706) 343-9977.