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Inaugural RI Bark for Life Draws Hundreds, Raises $21,000

Editor’s note: This article was written with reports from Mary Carlos. 

Warwick, RI – About 200 people and their canine companions visited Warwick City Park Sunday, May 3 for the first state-wide Bark For Life, raising more than $21,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Bark For Life is a smaller, dog-oriented version of the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay For Life.

Scooby Doo hangs out with employees and friends of the Diamond Hill Animal Clinic from Cumberland, RI.
Scooby Doo hangs out with employees and friends of the Diamond Hill Animal Clinic from Cumberland, RI.

The one-mile walk around the park was just one of the many activities making up the fundraising event that day which kicked off with a survivor and canine caregiver speech at the opening ceremony. Some of the other activities were vendors, raffles, team fundraisers, a fire truck, and dog contests.

Dr. Schoen from Hill and Harbour Veterinary Clinic was on-site but only one dog, who had the scratch prior to the event, needed vet care. Uno’s of Warwick provided lunch for survivors and Heaven’s Reach Reiki and AR Healing provided reiki for them.

Dr. Schoen from Hill and Harbour Veterinary Clinic was on-site but only one dog, who had the scratch prior to the event, needed vet care.

All participants received a bag with dog treats from Pet Food Express and Earth Dog Cookie Company. Even when the wind kicked up, people still stayed and enjoyed the activities.

The dog contests finished up the day. Everyone enjoyed cheering on their favorites in the dog/pet parent look-alike contest, smallest and largest dog categories, costume contest, trick contest, and the best-in-show.

Ray, a volunteer fireman at the Cross Mills Fire Station in Charlestown, R.I. and a cancer survivor, with the Colors for A Cause Cancer Awareness Vehicle "Ray" Brennan's Gift to Ray.
Ray, a volunteer fireman at the Cross Mills Fire Station in Charlestown, R.I. and a cancer survivor, with the Colors for A Cause Cancer Awareness Vehicle “Ray” Brennan\’s Gift to Ray.

Since this is the state-wide event’s debut, said organizer Ann Therriault, they had a modest fundraising goal, reached through a $20 per dog registration fee and individual $100 fundraising goals (the registration fee counts toward each participant’s goal).  The fundraiser more than doubled that at $21,000.

If you missed the fun, keep an eye out for next year’s event. Anyone interested in helping with the 2016 Bark For Life should contact Christina Haas at christina.haas@cancer.org or 401-243-2637.

Can’t wait for next year to help the American Cancer Society and have fun doing it? Here’s a list of the Relay For Life events coming up around the state:

Warwick Relay for Life – June 20

Coventry Relay for Life – June 12
South County Relay for Life – June 19
Westerly Relay for Life – June 27

Cranston Relay for Life – June 13

Greater Providence Relay for Life  – June 26

East Providenc Relay for Life – June 5

Burrillville/Gloucester Relay for Life – June 26

Lincoln Relay for Life – June 19

Pawtucket Relay for Life – June 20

Cumberland Relay for Life – May 30

Smithfield Relay for Life – June 13

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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