‘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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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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