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‘Bark for Life’ honors canine companions, helps Relay for Life

The American Cancer Society Bark for Life is a fundraising event honoring the life-long contributions of our canine caregivers. It presents an opportunity for people to be empowered through their canine companion partnerships and to contribute to cancer cures through the mission of the American Cancer Society.

Canine caregivers are canine companions, guide dogs, service dogs, rescue dogs, therapy dogs, police dogs, cancer survivor dogs and diagnostic dogs, who with their owners are joining the American Cancer Society as Relay teams.

They participate to celebrate cancer survivorship, to honor people lost to cancer and to fund-raise in support of the American Cancer Society mission of eliminating cancer though research, education, advocacy and service.

Canine companions demonstrate unconditional love, joy, security, compassion and no judgments of cancer survivors’ abilities or appearances. The American Cancer Society Bark For Life is an irresistible way to partner with your canine best friend, smile and make new friends — canine and human.

What happens at a Bark for Life event?

Families and their dogs come together for a few hours during the day and complete a one-mile walk to honor the care giving qualities of their canine “Best Friends” and cancer survivors.

The event features doggie games, top dog and dress-up contests, team and community fundraising, music and food, and special dog guest demonstrations by groups such as: therapy, police or rescue dogs.

Family and professional dogs bring the warm-hearted feelings of wagging tails to the ACS Bark for Life to make the Bark a happy and meaningful community event to support the mission of the American Cancer Society.

Who can participate in a Bark for Life event?

The heart of the Bark for Life is the relationship between survivors and their canine companions. Every family, co-worker, friend or community member who has been close to a cancer experience and has a dog in their life is invited to support the American Cancer Society by registering and fundraising through the Bark For Life.

Human and canine Bark participants find:

  • The opportunity to share heartwarming experiences
  • New support systems and hope for cancer cures
  • New care-giving relationships
  • The opportunity to become an advocate for a cancer-free world by volunteering to grow the Bark For Life

Bark sponsorships that involve new businesses and services that cater to dog and pet products: Dog trainers, veterinarians, groomers, breeders and dog rescue agencies are proud to support the ACS through support of the Bark For Life.

National pet food and supply chains are proud to donate and participate in the Bark for Life.

How does Bark For Life benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society?

The Bark For Life and the Relay For Life are fundraising events to support the mission of the American Cancer Society. The advantage of the Bark is that participants have fun fundraising with their best buddies — their dogs. Bark volunteers work with their Relay for Life counterparts to promote both events.

Fundraisers can be built into pre- or post-Relay Barks to bring people to the Relay or to give Relay teams an event to finish off their fundraising. Fundraising donations are credited to the Relay teams through participation at the Bark when they participate in fundraising at the Bark For Life event.

A Bark tent site can be set up at the Relay with contests that conclude at the Bark or on the day of the Relay. Dog owners come to the Relay, not the dogs. When new Bark participants are invited and attend the Relay, they support their own Bark teams at their Bark tent site and Relay team fundraising throughout the Relay — a new audience for team donations.

People are always looking for new ways to socialize with their dogs. After the Bark for Life annual event, fun year-round canine fundraising activities keep this audience engaged.

There are many survivors who do not have family or friends but have canine caregivers. They may know about Relay but are not comfortable attending. The Bark for Life gives these cancer survivors a chance to participate and be empowered in the fight against cancer.

For more information about Relay for Life or Bark for Life, contact Veronica Moline, event chair, at 541-490-1722 or jmoline@live.com, or visit www.relayforlife.org/ColumbiaGorgeOR.

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