10/13/10 Humans and their furry four-legged friends are invited to become part of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) inaugural Bark For Life event to be held Saturday, Oct. 16 at Centennial Park. The site is the same as Relay for Life Marshall County by the tennis courts (Freyman Shelter). Bark For Life is a fundraising event for ACS that honors the care giving qualities of our canine companions. This event takes place to acknowledge our dogs for their loyalty, friendship, unwavering love and support they provide us. You can bring your family and friends and treat your dogs to a fun-filled afternoon at Bark For Life. 

            Registration begins at 11 a.m. with opening ceremonies at noon. Participants can enter contests to be named Smallest Dog, Largest Dog, Happiest Tail, Best Trick, Handsomest Male, Prettiest Female, Best Barker and Best Costume. 

            This special event is the first of its kind in the Marshall County area and the hope is that it will continue to grow each year as has Relay for Life Marshall County. It is just one of the fundraising efforts in the fight against cancer that has become a year-round effort. The money raised will go to the AMC for cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services. A big thank you to Plymouth Veterinary Clinic for their sponsorship. 

            For Chair Lyn Ward, this is a ‘passion within a passion’. She first got involved with Relay in 2004 interviewing cancer survivors prior to the all-night event for The Pilot News and then experiencing the enthusiasm at Relay. The passion to find a cure for this insidious disease has only grown as a result.  “These were some of the bravest, finest people I ever met and interviewed,” she recalled. At the time, her rescued greyhound Cutter joined her at the event. Rescuing these former racers and animal rights in general are ongoing passions. Over the years, the rules for dogs at Relay have precluded them being part of the event unless confined to their campsite 

             “This is an opportunity for them to participate in their own special event and still help the cause,” she said. “Since dogs get cancer, too, we will be honoring our canine loved ones that have fought the disease.” Some didn’t win the fight including greyhound Cutter who succumbed last December. Information on recognizing potential cancer signs in canines will be available.

            Registration for the event is $10 per dog which includes its owner. Each dog receives a signature purple Bark For Life bandana. You can register online at www.relayforlife.org/marshallcountyin and click on ‘Bark For Life’. Registration forms are also available at local libraries and veterinarians throughout the county. For more information, contact Lyn Ward at 574-936-8373 (lynward1@embarqmail.com) or Trisha Metz at 574-257-9789 (trisha.metz@cancer.org.