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Oak Harbor ‘Bark for Life’ benefit goes to the dogs

Oak Harbor resident Kim Welch has a light moment with Americas, her springer spaniel/lab mix, before the dog died in 2010. She is helping organize the “Bark for Life,” an extension of the popular “Relay for Life” that raises money to fight cancer. - Photo courtesy of Kim Welch
Oak Harbor resident Kim Welch has a light moment with Americas, her springer spaniel/lab mix, before the dog died in 2010. She is helping organize the “Bark for Life,” an extension of the popular “Relay for Life” that raises money to fight cancer.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Kim Welch

A fundraiser this weekend will allow Whidbey Island dog owners to help in the fight against doggie cancer.

The first “Bark for Life” fundraiser takes place Saturday, July 28, at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor.

A takeoff on the annual Relay for Life for humans, the Bark for Life allows people and their favorite pooch to walk a pre-marked course at the park and make a donation that will go toward the American Cancer Society.

Where the Relay for Life has people who form teams to raise money by walking around a track overnight at North Whidbey Middle School, this weekend’s Bark for Life is a bit simpler.

“We’re just asking a donation for each dog and human that registers,” said Kim Welch, one of the organizers of the fundraiser.

She has wanted to participate in a dog-related fundraiser since she took part in the Relay for Life several years ago. Her dog, a springer spaniel/lab named Americas, was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. The pooch lost her right shoulder and leg because of the disease. Despite the handicap, she lived more than three years before passing away in early 2010.

There will be a variety of dog-related activities that will take place throughout the afternoon. Such groups as Whidbey Animals Improvement Foundation, FETCH, and Old Dog Haven will have booths. Dog trainers, dog agility groups and K9s from the Navy base are also scheduled to attend the event.

Welch said an oncologist from Seattle specializing in dogs will be on hand to answer questions from concerned dog owners.

She said the event benefits the American Cancer Society and the research it funds. She mentioned that the results from that research will also trickle down and be a help to canines too.

The Bark for Life takes place Saturday, July 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Windjammer Park. Participants will meet behind the windmill to register and make a donation. They will receive a doggie bag filled with treats and coupons.

For more information, contact Welch at 679-8216 or Nicki Oldham at 929-6662.

 

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