The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

August 31, 2013

Canines join fight against cancer with fundraiser

DANVILLE — Animal lovers know the benefits of taking a daily walk with their best friends. Now, here’s a chance to enjoy that companionship while raising money for the American Cancer Society.

The first local Bark for Life will be from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Espenscheid Park on North Kimball Street (off Voorhees). The city park features about 1 mile of mowed trails through a rolling meadow.

“It’s going to be a really good time,” said organizer Laura Bell of Covington, Ind., formerly of Danville. “I can’t stress enough that it’s for a good cause.”

Bark for Life is a spin-off of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Trent Reed, income development representative with the Cancer Society in Champaign, said Bark for Life has been going on for several years. The event has been staged in Champaign for some time, and has been successful. This is the first time it’s being held in Vermilion County.

At Relay for Life, cancer survivors bring their caregivers to the rally. Dogs aren’t allowed at that event, so Bark for Life was started to honor dogs as caregivers, he said.

“For a lot of people, an animal is the main caregiver, or best friend, in general,” Reed said. “This is an opportunity for volunteers to bring dogs to help raise funds.”

Bell agreed, saying, “It honors the caregiving that canines do for patients. We use canines in the care and recovery of cancer survivors.”

The event is open to everyone who’d like to help the Cancer Society raise funds. All money from the registration fee and most vendors will go to the organization.

Bell said she got the idea to put on Bark for Life in honor of her parents, Greg and Judy Donath of Danville. Her mother is a two-year survivor of breast cancer, and her father is a one-year survivor of lung cancer.

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