BEEVILLE – The American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life event was a tail-wagging good time on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Coastal Bend College. The event is a noncompetitive walk for dogs and their owners to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s ongoing fight against cancer.
Bee County dog owners spent Saturday morning walking and showing their support for family members and friends who have been diagnosed with cancer, while the friendly pooches at their sides enjoyed their share of dog treats.
Normagrace Flores and Adriana McKinnon, coordinators, were excited about the turnout this year and the community members who came out to participate. “This is our third year coordinating Bark For Life, and we’ve grown every year,” Flores said. “We had 14 dogs registered the first year, 19 the second year, and we have 21 this year.”
Flores said she got involved with Bark For Life when her best friend was diagnosed with both breast cancer and thyroid cancer. “She’s been my best friend since third grade, and knowing that there was nothing I could do was so hard,” she said.
“It really hit home, and I decided to get more involved with the American Cancer Society to help support my friend, as well as the millions of other people who have been diagnosed with some type of cancer.”
“My best friend is a survivor,” Flores said.
Christina Key attended the Bark For Life event on Saturday in remembrance of both her father and her father-in-law who passed away from cancer. “You hear about cancer a lot, but once someone you know is diagnosed, it finally gives it a face,” Key said.
The event was Halloween-themed, and the coordinators were excited to host fun activities after the walk, including contests for best trick, best dressed, doggie/owner look-alike and best in bark. The dogs were a colorful bunch in their costumes, their tails wagging as they showed off their best tricks.
All participants were also asked to wear or bring something pink for their dogs in honor of those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. “October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so we wanted to show our support,” Flores said.
Flores said they had raised around $900 so far and were hoping to reach $1,000 before the end of the day’s events. “We’re really happy to have sponsors this year as well,” she said.
McKinnon said she is excited that the event has continued to grow, and she hopes to continue holding Bark For Life in Beeville every year.
“The first year we held the walk it ended up being mostly committee members and our families, so we’re so happy to see the great turnout from community members,” she said.
Flores said she hopes to turn the walk into a large community event. “My wish is that one day, Bark For Life will be like Western Week or the Texas Mile,” Flores said. “Everyone will know when it is and be excited to attend.”
To get involved in Bark For Life or another event supported by The American Cancer Society, visit www.relayforlife.org. Check back for the date of next year’s Bark For Life event in Beeville.
Lindsey Shaffer is the regional editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 119, or at regional@mySouTex.com.