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Harrison Township

May 13, 2014

Support the American Cancer Society through Bark for Life

By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Bark for Life, a fundraiser not unlike Relay for Life, is for the dogs.

Launched locally three years ago by L’Anse Creuse Middle School-Central teacher Judy Merrifield, Bark for Life, a one-mile walk this year, is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society to help reinforce efforts of the popular 24-hour Relay for Life, which was held at L’Anse Creuse High School on May 3.

Bark for Life will be held from 9 a.m.-noon May 18 at Lake St. Clair Metropark.

Merrifield said the event was a success from the get-go.

The first Bark for Life raised $1,900 and the 2013 event raised $4,600. More than 120 dogs walked the park trails last year.

“My goal this year is to raise enough so we have a three-year grand total of $10,000,” said Merrifield, who teaches 7th grade math and science. She plans to bring along her two dogs, Autumn, a standard poodle, and lab Lily.

Bark for Life is an opportunity for cancer survivors to thank their canine companions and caregivers for the roles they have played or are playing in their recovery.

The walk started in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, nine years ago following an outcry by Relay for Life participants — specifically those battling cancer and cancer survivors —  who wanted their canine pals to be involved, as well. As a general rule, dogs and other pets are not able to walk in Relay for Life.

The money is raised through the entry fees, and through individual fundraisers held before and during the event. Merrifield said her school has already raised $500 through a dodgeball tournament last month.

During Bark for Life, there will be a cutest dog contest, best-dressed dog, oldest dog, youngest dog, best trick, and a dog/human look-alike contest. Other events are also planned throughout the morning, and there will be a number of vendors on hand.

The cost is $15 per preregistered dog and $20 the day of the event. People get in for free. For more information or to register, go to the Bark for Life Harrison Township Facebook page, go to www.relayforlife.org/barkharrisontownshipmi or email barkwith merriju@comcast.net.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Julie Snyder at jsnyder@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1039.