Ramsey event barks back at cancer

It is nothing new to see dogs and owners out for a walk. But soon they will be taking to the walking paths of Ramsey’s The COR for cancer research.

Although Bark for Life Chairperson Kim Gust will be too busy to walk, her Yorkie Charlie will be leading the pack with a designated human. Photo submitted

Although Bark for Life Chairperson Kim Gust will be too busy to walk, her Yorkie Charlie will be leading the pack with a designated human. Photo submitted

The April 21 Bark for Life is the first of its kind in Anoka County, said Ramsey resident and organizer Kim Gust.

Only four other cities have hosted Bark For Life events, she said.

The Ramsey event will start with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m.

Registration starts at 9 a.m. and there will be walking and activities until 1 p.m., including agility demonstrations, a dog/owner look-a-like contest, music by BellaRose Entertainment and a silent auction.

“We are hoping to get Barkley’s Bistro to come out for the event,” said Gust of the gourmet dog treat maker.

She is also hoping to get a mobile dog groomer to come, according to Gust.

The cost of the event is $20 per dog/owner team with a $5 charge per additional dog.

Each registered dog will receive a bone-shaped tag and a purple bandana.

During the annual Anoka Relay for Life cancer benefit, which will be June 22 this year, dogs are not allowed for safe reasons, Gust said.

With Bark for Life, people can walk with their dogs and raise funds for cancer research, Gust said.

It is also a good way to recognize dogs as caregivers.

As dog owners battle cancer, the dogs are right there to give support or comfort, Gust said.

Dogs also provide therapy for hospital patients and the elderly, and are also trained to be service dogs, she said.

Although Bark for Life is part of the Anoka Relay for Life event, it will not have paper luminary bags lighting the way for walkers.

Paper dog bones, which will be sold as a fund-raiser, will be hung from the trees to mark the walking path, Gust said.

There will be food vendors for the humans and dogs alike as well as special vendors for just the dogs.

Although Gust is still looking for sponsors and vendors for the event, the dog packs are already starting to form.

So far there are 15 registered dogs, she said.

“It should be an amazing time,” said Gust, who got involved with cancer research fund-raising after losing her grandparents and uncle to cancer.

Cancer research benefits humans as well as the dogs, who get the same types of cancers, she said.

“Cancer sucks,” said Gust, who is also the Anoka Relay for Life chairperson.

“This is a way to fight back and celebrate.”

Register online at www.relayforlife.org.

Tammy Sakry is at tammy.sakry@ecm-inc.com


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