AWS ‘Bark in the Park’ fundraiser set for June 2
The sixth annual Bark in the Park fundraiser event to benefit the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County will be held at Jefferson Memorial Park in Charles Town on June 2 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sponsors helping to make this year’s event a success are McKinney’s Auto Repair and Towing in Charles Town, Hillside Veterinary Clinic in Charles Town and J & K Precision Auto Care, LLC in Ranson. There is still time for other businesses to help with this event; visit the AWS website www.awsjc.org for sponsor forms.
Registration for the event begins at 9:30 a.m. with a $10 registration donation which includes a bandana for each canine friend. A Blessing of the Animals preformed by Pastor Dee-Ann Dixon of New Street United Methodist Church in Shepherdstown will begin at 10 a.m. The Interactive Pledge Walk follows the blessing and is the major focus of the day. Dogs will have a chance to engage in a variety of fun activities along the walk, such as jumping, climbing, weaving through posts, balancing on beams and wading through water. Dogs get their Pooch Passport stamped at each station completed.
Passports are later used for a prize drawing. The Pledge Walk is similar to a walkathon where participants collect pledges from family and friends for the walk (about one fourth of a mile) prior to the event by downloading the pledge form on the AWS website www.awsjc.org. Pledges, which are the main revenue for the fundraiser, are then brought to the event during registration.
Many activities will take place following the pledge walk. Throughout the day, there will be time to visit the many vendors set up that consist of pet and people related items and crafts, along with many other animal rescue organizations. There will be raffles, face painting and canine contests in the pavilion by the tennis courts. Canine contests include: Best Kisser, Best Tailwagger, Owner Lookalike, Best Vocalist, Best Dressed and Best Trick. There will also be games for owners, children and dogs to play, such as “The Biscuit Walk” (similar to a Cake Walk) and canine relay races. Canine demonstrations such as clicker training and agility demonstrations by Karin Fellers of Keep It Positive Dog Training, LLC will be throughout the day along with demonstrations by K9 rescue units. BC’s BBQ and Catering of Martinsburg will be serving delicious chicken and pulled pork sandwiches, barbeque nachos, snacks, drinks and more. Even those without dogs may enjoy the day’s events and support the AWS with any donation for admission or pledges for you to walk the walking path.
This event is one of the major fundraisers for the Animal Welfare Society, a 501(c3) non-profit since its incorporation in 1952. An affiliate of United Way (CFC # 43359), the organization has operated a shelter on Leetown Pike (just pass the fairgrounds) since 1985. The shelter is a no-kill facility which houses homeless, dogs, puppies, cats and kittens from the tri-county area.
Pets are available for adoption at the shelter or every first and third Saturday at Petco in Ranson. Cats and kittens are also available for adoption every day at Petco and at the Martinsburg Petsmart. All pets are spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated and tested for diseases prior to adoption. The shelter is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Event schedule, registration and pledge forms and vendor forms (more vendors are welcome) can be downloaded on the AWS website www.awsjc.org. Available pets and upcoming events, can also be viewed on the website.