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It seems it was only a matter of time, and that time has come—a Boyertown/Oley Valley Bark For Life has been initiated and the process is underway.
Bob Olock, Relay For Life committee member and seven year cancer survivor, envisions this event bringing community businesses, sponsors and canines together.
“We’re looking for anyone and everyone to participate, including survivors, survivor dogs and caregiver dogs,” said Olock. “I’ve heard people say they’ve been helped as much by their canine than by their family.”
According to 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 are joining as Relay teams with their owners.
Relay for Life of Boyertown began in 2008 with 33 teams; last year there were 44 teams with more than 600 participants.
According to Olock, it seems about time for the Boyertown area to establish a Bark For Life, the canine equivalent to Relay for Life.
The first annual Boyertown/Oley Valley Bark For Life will be held Oct. 6, 2013 at the Oley Fairgrounds.
“This event is about generating new involvement and awareness in the area—and it’s fun,” said Olock.
The first Bark For Life team captain meeting will be held at Boyertown Borough Hall on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. Meetings will be held the first Thursday of every month at that time and location.
The speaker for the Feb. 7 meeting will be JoAnn McKiernan, one of the original founders of Bark For Life.
According to Amy Miller, American Cancer Society representative, all that is needed for a town to host a Bark For Life is a leader and an interest group.
Individuals can register in advance or the day of the event. Everyone is welcomed to participate. Registration forms are available online at www.relayforlife.org/barkboyertownoleypa.
For more information regarding Boyertown/Oley Valley Bark For Life, contact Bob Olock at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information regarding Relay For Life, contact Amy Miller at email@example.com.
“We’re going to let the dogs out,” said Olock, “and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Relay For Life.”
Bark For Life is a fund raising event which honors the life-long contributions of canine caregivers. It offers an opportunity for people to be empowered alongside their canine companion and to contribute to cancer cures through the mission of the American Cancer Society.
Canine companions demonstrate unconditional love, joy, security, compassion, and no judgments of cancer survivors abilities or appearances.