Bark For Life cancer fundraiser to make its Park City debut | ParkRecord.com
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Bark For Life cancer fundraiser to make its Park City debut

The American Cancer Society has honored cancer-fighters’ canine companions with a Bark For Life event in Draper for the past few years.

Since the event, which features dog walks, games, activities and canine presentations, was such a success, the organization decided branch out and hold an additional event in Park City, because the town is known for its love of dogs, said Katie Kersys, community relations manager at the American Cancer Society.

"This is the first year that we are bringing it to Park City and we’re hoping for a nice turnout," Kersys said during an interview with The Park Record. "The overall idea for the event is to recognize canines as genuine caregivers to cancer patients during the cancer-battle journey."

The Park City Bark For Life will be held Saturday, Sept. 29, at Willow Creek Park from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Kersys said dogs are some of the best companions for anyone, especially those who have been diagnosed with cancer.

"When the dogs are with their owners, they have a strong tie to them and they and can sense that something is going on," she said. "No matter what kind of trial these people go through, the dogs are faithful, show unconditional love and are so comforting."

While the event honors dogs, it also serves as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

"The day will feature a dog walk, silent auction and a variety of activities," Kersys said. "The money we raise from the silent auction will benefit our research and other programs and services."

At 11 a.m., Bark For Life will kick off with a short opening ceremony and continue with the walk around the park.

"What I love the most about the event is the walk we do," Kersys said. "It not only focuses on the canines, but the humans who are battling cancer as well and will include cancer survivors and caregivers as well as those who lost loved ones to cancer."

The rest of the day’s activities will follow the walk.

"The Deer Valley Avalanche Dogs and the Heber K-9 Police Dogs will give presentations and we’ll also have Summit County Animal Control on hand to do pet adoptions, which is really exciting," Kersys said.

"Within the park, we’ll have a barricaded toss-and-catch area so pets can have the opportunity to run and play off leash," Kersys said. "We will also hand out some prizes and every dog will get a bandana to take home. It’s just going to be a great time for everyone."

For those pet owners who want their dogs to look their best, the Park City Mobile Pet Grooming will be on site as well.

Kersys, who has worked for the American Cancer Society of nearly a year, said the organization is close to her heart.

"My dad is a cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 1996 with non-Hodgkins lymphoma," she said. "Since his remission, he has been raising funds for our communities.

"I was raised in a fundraising family and I love to volunteer," she said. "It’s been a blessing for me to work for an organization as great as this, because when you’re around a group of people who are supporting and fighting for the same cause, you feel a so much energy and passion."

The American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Willow Creek Park, located at Split Rail Lane and West Old Ranch Road. Registration is $20 for the first dog and $30 for any additional dog. To register, visit http://www.relayforlife.org/bflparkcityut. To make a donation to the silent auction, be a vendor at the event or have any questions event, please contact katie.kersys@cancer.org.


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