Ocean City Today

Bark for Life ACS fundraiser set for this Sunday in Berlin

By Brian Gilliland | Nov 02, 2017
Photo by: American Cancer Society

(Nov. 3, 2017) Now in its third year, the Berlin Bark for Life is coming into its own by becoming an all-afternoon affair this Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at Stephen Decatur Park in Berlin.

All proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society.

This time, the cost is all for the dogs – $10 per pooch – but is free and open to the public for spectators.

Event organizers require proof of rabies vaccination and leashes fewer than six feet long for all canine competitors in categories like “best kiss,” or the talent show or lookalike contests.

“It’s very similar to Relay for Life – we’ll have walking during the events and activities,” Dj Thompson, organizer, said.

For the entry fee, each pooch is presented with a custom Bark for Life bandanna and a gift bag. Participants are also given a raffle ticket, good for a chance at a door prize.

Registration starts at noon and continues until the opening ceremony, scheduled for 1 p.m. After that, both cancer survivors and caregivers are invited to take a lap around the park.

“We do the survivor and caregiver lap to celebrate their successes and especially because the caregivers are often our canine friends,” he said. “We celebrate them with the first lap, because that’s why we're there.”

That celebration should last until the 2 p.m. start of the “best kiss” contest, which is only open to dogs.

The people get their first chance to shine at 2:30 p.m. for the start of the “toss me a bone” contest.

Following that at 3 p.m., the dogs-only costume parade and contest begins, and runs until 3:30 p.m. The humans come back for 15 minutes from 3:30-3:45 for a bone-stacking game, which makes way for the pet talent show and lookalike contest until 4:15 p.m.

The talent show features several divisions: best trick, oldest, youngest, largest, smallest, best wag, best trick and best behaved.

Next, humans and pets are scheduled to compete in a musical sitting game until 4:30 p.m., when the closing ceremony begins.

Local vendors will offer a variety of goods for sale, and kids’ activities are also planned.

“We want to make the event bigger and bring in more families. We’re hoping for a fall festival feel,” Thompson said. “The playground is there, so it's a great opportunity to spend time out in the sun, and to raise money and awareness.”

The event is expected to end at 5 p.m. and attendees are expected to clean up after their animals.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BarkForLifeBerlin.


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