OAKHURST – After years of record-breaking participation in the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) annual Relay for Life event in the foothills, it’s time now that our mountain area canines get in on the uplifting action.
Save the date Sunday, Apr. 18, at Oakhurst Elementary School, where the ACS Bark for Life event will be held starting at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The entrance fee is $15 pre-registered online, or $20 at the door for your first dog, and $15 each dog thereafter.
Jackie Dowdy is a senior at Yosemite High School who has chosen Bark for Life as her Senior Project.
“Bark for Life is a branch-off of the ACS Relay for Life and it allows a community to celebrate and honor our cancer fighters, whether it be a furry friend that has had or has cancer, or a loyal canine companion who has fought right alongside their human as they battle cancer,” says Jackie. “I choose Bark For Life as my project because of the community and all they do for each other.”
Jackie is a transplant from the city who finds the intimacy of a small town very much to her liking, so it’s especially meaningful for her to help out like this.
“I moved to Ahwahnee from Visalia, and the Oakhurst community is so different from my home town. People are here for one another and care about each other. Since I haven’t lived here long I wanted to give back in the biggest way I can.”
Organizers like Jackie say Bark for Life is a time to celebrate with fun games, contests and laps around the track, and a time to remember pets lost to cancer and honor their role as caregivers. All luminarias purchased at Bark will also be present at Relay for Life, where dogs are not permitted. Relay for Life is May 16th – 17th 2015 at Yosemite High School.
The day’s line-up at Bark for Life starts with Opening Ceremony and a special speaker at 10 a.m., followed by games and contests until 11:45 p.m. A Luminaria Ceremony will take place at noon, followed by more contests and raffles, with a Closing Ceremony at 1:50 p.m. Bark for Life fits in perfectly with Jackie’s plans post-graduation, as she intends to study to become a veterinarian.
“I am an animal lover and if I can thank a pup for being a pup then I’m going to do it! I hope to attend UC Davis in the next few years and get my Doctorate in Veterinary science there.”
Pointing out that she could not have participated to this extent without community support, Jackie wants to give a shout out to a few people and businesses.
“I really wanted to give a special thanks to Coarsegold Veterinary Hospital for everything they have been doing,” says Jackie, less than two weeks away from her project date. “Lisa is such a great help and has done so much. Without her I have no idea what we would have done. Oakhurst Feed has been a great supporter and provider and we thank Colette for everything she has done. Thank you to the Larson Brothers, Oakhurst Elementary, Cal Fire, the Yosemite Hgh School Leos, and Kellen Adoption for the time and participation. We are excited for everything everyone has been doing to make this even come alive.”