Adriana McKinnon, one of the event coordinators, said that they already have 22 registered participants.
“That is much better than last year,” McKinnon said. “Last year, we had maybe 10 at this time.
“I think, last year, it was more of our closest friends in the community.”
The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Oct. 27.
Word has gotten out, and people are already getting excited too.
“We have been trying to make it grow and hopefully make it a yearly event in Bee County,” she said.
She and the others coordinating the event had two goals this year — have the event on the Coastal Bend College track and design T-shirts.
Both have worked out as the Pantry Stores and the A Place for Paws have agreed to sponsor the T-shirts.
The college also has agreed to having the event on its track. Having it there, she said, should help with exposure.
Last year, the event was held at Poesta Park, but parking is limited there.
“A lot of people identify more with the college, because it is a community college,” she said.
“People know about Relay for Life, and they go to the high school track,” she added. “I want them to have the same idea for Bark for Life — that Bark for Life happens every fall at the Coastal Bend College track.”
More participants this year means more money going to the American Cancer Society also.
Last year, the event raised $1,500 — this year they hope that amount increases.
“Our goal is going to be about $2,000,” she said, adding that this isn’t just about the money though.
“Our main goal is to get more participants registered. We want more people from the community to come out and just enjoy the morning walk.”
The idea for this relay came about because many of the Relay walkers are also dog lovers — and they hate having to leave their four-legged companions behind.
“During Relay for Life, pets are not allowed on the premises,” she said. “Those are just the guidelines. A lot people want to go to Relay, and they want to take their dogs. Even on a leash or carrying them — they can’t.
“A lot of people consider pets as part of their family. This event will give all the people the opportunity to walk with their dogs.”
For those who don’t necessarily want to walk the track, they can still come out and enjoy the morning.
“You don’t have to do the whole lap,” McKinnon said. “You can just come over and hang out with your dog and participate in the contests.
“Any kind of dog can come out, as long as they are on a leash and have all their shots.
“We would love to have all kinds of dogs.”
Early registration, up until the day of the event, is $20 per dog up to two dogs per person. On the day of the event, registration is $25.
There will be numerous contests held during the four-hour event, including best dressed, best trick, best costume and owner look alike.
“This year, we are adding another trophy — the best in show, which is going to be chosen by all the people attending,” McKinnon said.
Participants can register their dogs today (Saturday) at Beeville Market Days, and coordinators are also holding a chilli dog fundraiser today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the back parking lot of Exclusive Home Health for the event. Plates include two chilli dogs, chips and a drink for $5.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.