The Lions Club International is dedicated to helping people around the world with any need.
One of those needs is people's vision, and the Park City Lions Club of Utah focuses on local initiatives for restoring and maintaining vision.
It's the main reason the club will host a dog and owner fundraising called Walk with Mischa Fun Dog Walk and Festival on Saturday, May 10, at the Newpark Amphitheater at Kimball Junction.
The event will begin at 11 a.m., said Lions Club member Brianna Seymour, who is organizing the event.
"All the proceeds will be donated to local vision initiatives," Seymour told The Park Record. "Utah has a foundation called the Utah Eye Bank. They work with the Moran Eye Center, and our specific initiative is to raise money so people can go get surgeries at the Moran Eye Center or eye transplants from the Utah Eye Bank."
The funds will also be used to help people get contacts and glasses, she said.
Seymour, who is the owner of the festival's namesake, Mischa, a purebred Yorkie, said the day will start with a one- and three-mile fun walk around the Swaner Preserve.
"People can choose which one they want to do," Seymour told The Park Record. "We want to just gather up people and their dogs and they'll start at the Newpark Amphitheater and swing around the preserve."
Along the way, dogs and owners will come across stations that will offer food and water and waste bags.
"The booths may also have some treats and prizes along the way," Seymour said. "It's a paved trail so people in wheelchairs, wagons and strollers will be able to do the walks."
The trail is ideal for really small dogs such as Mischa.
"The idea came about mainly because of that, and there are successful dog walks in other states and cities, including Salt Lake," Seymour explained. "I looked around and saw that there were many events for athletes, including triathalons, fun runs and stuff, but there aren't a lot of opportunities for people who just want to go for a walk with their dogs, especially ones as little as Mischa.
"She can walk three miles, but can't run five miles, and neither can her owner," Seymour said, laughing. "She's 13 pounds, which is big for a Yorkie, and can hike a long ways, but not run, so this will be a good event for us."
When people finish the walk, they will gather for a dog costume contest and enjoy an array of carnival food for humans and dogs.
"We'll also have live music, some bounce houses from Just Fussin Around, games, face painting by Face Painting Paradise and a mobile grooming van from Groomin' On The Go for the dogs on site," Seymour said. "The staff of the van will clip the dogs' nails and do other grooming."
In addition, Pinebrook Animal Hospital will give pet check-ups.
Other vendors will include Cold Stone Creamery, Camp Bow Wow, The Coalville Leo's Club, Active K9 Rescue Foundation and Leader Dogs for the Blind.
"The goal is to host a community event where dogs and their owners can come together in one place," Seymour said.
People can register in advance or the day of.
Advance registration will be taken online by visiting www.walkwithmischa.com.
"The cost is $15 for the first dog and then $3 for each additional dog in a group," Seymour said. "On the day of the event, we'll have a place where people can register by cash or credit card. That way people can sneak in at the last minute."
The first 50 registrants will get a free packet of organic-elk dog treats made by Love Your Pet bakery.
Park City is a great place to host an event like the dog walk, she said.
"Residents love their dogs," Seymour said. "They love the outdoors and they love to give."
In addition to raising money for vision initiatives, the Walk With Mischa Dog festival is a way for the Park City Lions Club to introduce itself to the area.
"We're a small organization right now, but we're trying to gain a presence," Seymour said. "The international Lions Club in total has 1.5 million members worldwide and is one of the largest service organizations in the world, so we're trying to establish a presence in Park City and get to know our neighbors and some of the donors."
Seymour thanked the sponsors, which include Newpark Town Center, Existence Design House, Allstate, Love Your Pet Bakery, Chin MacQuoid Fleming and Harris Luxury Resort Real Estate, Craig and Suzanne Cooper, the Park City Elks. White Pine Veterinary Clinic, Active K9 Rescue Foundation and the Pinebrook Animal Hospital.
"We are trying to make a difference because we have resources in our club," she said. "We want people to know if they need help with vision or any kind of other need, we're here to help."
The Park City Lions Club is hosting the first annual Walk With Mischa Fun Dog Walk and Festival at the Newpark Amphitheater, 1456 Newpark Blvd., at Kimball Junction on Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $15 for the first dog, $3 for additional dogs. For more information, visit www.walkwithmischa.com.