On June 9 starting at 4 p.m., people and their canine companions will gather at Hollywood Casino Raceway to walk a lap on Bass Park’s track and Bark For Life.
The Greater Bangor Bark For Life is a non-competitive fundraising event that benefits the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. The Bangor event is the first of its kind in the area. According to event organizer Lisa Eldridge, Bark for Life “recognizes the caregiving qualities of dogs while raising money for cancer research and other ACS programs.” The event also heightens awareness that dogs get cancer, too.
Funds raised through Bark For Life are earmarked for research into fighting cancer in people.
“Studies have shown that canine cancers and human cancers are very closely related,” Eldridge said. “Finding a cure for both canine and human cancer is very important to me because I have lost family members to cancer and I have a bulldog named Zuzu who is at a high risk of canine cancer because of her breed. One of my very close friends lost her bulldog, Audrey, to cancer a few years, ago and so I wanted to do something in memory of Audrey and my past family members’ honor.”
According to Eldridge, Bark For Life is an opportunity for dogs and their families to walk together to fight cancer. Unlike Relay For Life, the event will be shorter, allowing dogs to participate.
“Bark For Life is a great event for those who want to support Relay For Life, while spending time with their furry family members,” she said. “The event honors those lost to cancer and cancer survivors just like Relay, but also dogs with cancer and showcases how dogs have such an important role in our lives. Whether they are pets of those battling cancer and serve as therapy dogs or just caregiving pets, service dogs, K-9 unit canine or in many cases part of the family, dogs deserved to be honored, and that is what this event does.”
Registration starts at 4 p.m. on June 9 at the Hollywood Casino Racetrack by the Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center. There will be an opening ceremony at 5 p.m. to welcome participants, and then vendors and demonstrations will provide a chance for participants to learn, shop, and dine. At 7 p.m. there will be a blessing of the dogs, and then the Bark for Life walk begins.
Vendors include Veazie Veterinary Clinic hosting a discussion about canine cancer, demonstrations by Maine Search and Rescue Dogs, an agility demonstration by Renaissance Dogs, and booths from local businesses including Dogn’I Apparel, Mutt and Jeff’s Grooming, Lucky Dog Rescue, Four Dogs, Mutt Nose Best, artist Collette King, DogWatch Fence, and Darling’s.
To register online visit relayforlife.org/barkbangor. The organization is also on Facebook.