About 110 people and their 60 dogs walked on a cold, blustery morning April 26 to raise over $7,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Jace Flansburg, 8, of Ramsey, was the top individual fundraiser for the third annual Bark for Life at Ramsey’s The Draw park, with donations he collected topping $500. When he was in kindergarten, a classmate had cancer, but this student is in remission today.
Flansburg has participated in all three Bark for Life fundraisers in Ramsey. He said it is important for him to do this so “can help other people with cancer.” He walked April 26 his mother Jennifer and 3-year-old golden retriever Jax, so naturally they called themselves the “J-team.”
Donations were slightly down from the $10,000 donated at the inaugural event in 2012 and about $8,000 in 2013, but event organizer Kim Gust was pleased with the turnout and contributions from the community.
“We had a successful event despite the weather conditions on Saturday,” Gust said.
A new feature this year was Elk River Ford donating $20 for every test drive of vehicles it brought to the Bark for Life.
Gust started the Ramsey Bark for Life in 2012 after hearing the American Cancer Society offered this option for dog owners who are unable to bring their pets to regular Relay for Life events.
Leslie Pendergast, Blaine, is a cancer survivor and one of the organizers of the Blaine Relay for Life, which is July 18 at Blaine High School.
She and her daughter Alex also help with the Ramsey Bark for Life.
“I love seeing all the dogs,” Alex said.
During an opening ceremony, Gust recognized the people who helped make this fundraiser a success, she recognized Flansbury as being the top fundraiser this year and brought up Marilyn Miller, of Ramsey, with her 4-year-old dog Happy to recognize them for their service dog efforts.
Happy was a rescue dog from Midwest Rescue Animal & Services. Miller now takes Happy to the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center and he meets with students at a local school who can read to him.
“This is what community is all about,” Ramsey Mayor Sarah Strommen said.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org