Fun weekend activities for the entire family are hard to find, especially when your family includes four-legged members. But if this is your situation, the Lakewood Service League has the event for you. Its third annual Walk & Wag is the perfect place “for all dogs and their people” to spend a fun-filled day by the lake.
“The cool thing about Walk & Wag is it’s a whole community event,” says Lisa Sievers, Walk & Wag coordinator. “It gives the whole community a chance to get involved in charitable events just by attending.”
This is the second year Juliette Fowler Homes will be the beneficiary. Proceeds will go toward its creative therapies and life skills programs, which includes pet therapy, a walking trail, a horticulture program and teaching adolescent and high school age kids how to make it on their own.
“It’s cool to see exactly where the money’s going,” Sievers says. “And see where we can make a difference.”
Walk & Wag was born when the league decided to hold a fall fundraiser three years ago. The simple idea of a dog walk around White Rock Lake is now an event that is expected to draw 5,000 people and raise more than $20,000.
Two new events this year are the 5K “Ruff Run” and 2K “Doggie and Diaper Dash.” There also will be expanded activity courses, doggie glamour shots and numerous contests, including owner/dog look-alike, best Halloween costume and best trick.
A carnival area — where kids are always guaranteed to win — is also part of the fun. Plus, with kids being surrounded by dogs and puppies all day, they might want to adopt one, so adoption and rescue booths will abound. Any parents not ready to make that jump can take their children to a different kind of adoption booth. Kids can adopt a stuffed animal, take it to the booth next door to be medically examined, and then take it home.
For people without pets, there’s still plenty to do — an arts and crafts area, plenty of food vendors and live music from The Sutcliffes and a mystery band.
People in the community tell Sievers how much they love the event, but one thank-you note sticks out in her mind.
“A gal from Juliette Fowler sent a little note to the coordinator,” Sievers says. “We had asked her to be a judge. She said it was one of the happiest day of her life.”
Sievers loves that Walk &Wag brings people and their pets together, but for her, the big payoff is the money raised.
“There’s nothing that quite beats that feeling of giving that big check to the charity,” Sievers says. “That’s what the whole thing is all about.”
Walk & Wag
When: Saturday, Oct. 21, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Winfrey Point, 950 E. Lawther, White Rock Lake
Cost: $2 donation for adults; $20 for the 5K, 2K or pet contests and $35 for both
To register: walkandwag.org
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