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Raising funds for cancer with furry friends

 

Shannon LeClair  

Times Reporter   
 
The Canadian Cancer Society has a new face to add to its ranks, and she is excited to come out to Strathmore and work with the community.  Siobhan Doherty is the revenue fund development coordinator, and will be the representative working with Strathmore and other areas outside of the city. 
“What we’re looking to do is have myself be in the community engaging volunteers, engaging the community to get involved,” said Doherty.
“One of the big things that we’re really looking for in Strathmore is we have had some really amazing volunteers in the past, but just not enough capacity, just not enough volunteers to make our events happen.” 
One way the Cancer Society is trying to get back into the community is with a fundraising walk for local dog owners called Bark for Life. The event will happen this fall, either late September or early October, and is similar to Relay for Life but will only last for two to four hours, has more of a community feel, almost a carnival feel, and you can bring your dogs out. There will be treats and games for the dogs and participants can sign up as teams or as an individual.
“It’s a little bit less commitment and also it does involve canines which is kind of a unique fundraising event for us,” said Doherty.  
“We had people saying well my dog was always there for me, when I got home from treatment he was there, when I was sick he was there to comfort me, so we really want to foster that connection and this was a way for us to do it, get the dogs involved and a lot of people really enjoyed it.”
She knows there are a lot of dog owners in Strathmore and there is the dog park, so the thought is the Bark for Life would be a good place to start and see if the community is interested in having bigger events at a later date. Bark for Life originated in Ontario and has slowly been making its way west.
Planning for the event is of course going to rely on the help of the community and volunteers. Doherty said she is looking for five or six committee volunteers to be able to help run and plan the event, starting in mid-August. On event day every extra person available to lend a hand will be more than welcome.  
“Right now we’re really looking for committee member volunteers so anybody who has a strong attachment to cancer, or anyone who absolutely loves their dogs and would love to throw this kind of event,” said Doherty. 
It won’t be a huge time commitment, likely only a couple of hours a week, but there is lots of planning to be done, getting out into the community, finding teams and donations.  
Doherty’s goal is to see 100 people participate with their dogs. The dogs must be able to behave well around other dogs, and must be on a leash. Each participant can also only bring two dogs. 
“Say you have multiple dogs you’re more than welcome to bring a spouse or a friend or anyone to take your other dog(s) just because that make it a little easier to handle. We want to make sure it’s safe for everyone and the other dogs are safe,” said Doherty. 
Contact Siobhan Doherty to sign up for a role on the committee or to find out more at 403-303-3517. 
 
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