Paws to pound pavement for Canine Companions
DogFest will get a little rougher this fall with a new addition for two- and four-legged creatures.
The Oct. 12 Canine Companions for Independence fundraiser in Coffman Park will include a 5K for the first time in an effort to raise more money for the nonprofit that gives assistance dogs to people with disabilities.
Sponsor Manheim Ohio wanted to help Canine Companions with a 5K and worked with Premier Sports to establish the inaugural run, said Ashley Koehler, development associate at Canine Companions.
"We have this year for the first time a 5K," she said. "It's right before DogFest starts."
Registration for the 5K runs from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Dublin Community Recreation Center in Coffman Park with the race set for 9:30 a.m.
A two-mile walk that has been a part of DogFest for several years starts at 10 a.m. Canines and their owners collect donations prior to the event and during the walk, stop at trick-or-treat stations on the path.
"The walking course is about two miles, so there are no laps," Koehler said. "Each participant can collect donations and earn different incentive levels. They can get bandanas, sweatshirts, jackets, tote bags and blankets."
The Oct. 12 fundraiser set through 12:30 p.m. is Canine Companion's largest locally.
"We raise about $30,000 at the event in Dublin," Koehler said.
Along with donations and the 5K registration, raffle tickets will be sold to raise money.
A costume contest also will be held for canines and people.
"When people get back (from the walk) there are raffle items, an agility group is coming out to give a demonstration, the Sunny 95 Treat Truck will be there (and) Angela (An) from 10TV will give mock interviews to volunteers and recipients so people can learn about Canine Companions," Koehler said.
Canine Companions is a national nonprofit organization, but a Delaware branch that serves much of the Midwest helps train assistance dogs and place them with veterans, children and adults with physical disabilities.
Since the organization was established in 1975, more than 4,200 assistance dogs have been placed in homes, information from the nonprofit said. And the service is done for free.
Trained volunteers help raise the puppies, and finish with training the dogs in tasks such as retrieving dropped items, opening and closing doors and turning lights off and on.
"Money will go to general operating (costs): training dogs and placing them," Koehler said.
Registration for DogFest can be completed online at cci.org/ DogFest.
Registration for the Canine Companions 5K is $30 and can be completed online at premierraces.com.