This adorable fundraiser for cancer research has grown even bigger in its third year

Participants walk and run during the second annual Bark for Life event in 2017. The third annual Bark for Life, a non-competitive 5K run/walk, is scheduled for April 14, 2018, at Voice of America MetroPark in West Chester Twp. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Participants walk and run during the second annual Bark for Life event in 2017. The third annual Bark for Life, a non-competitive 5K run/walk, is scheduled for April 14, 2018, at Voice of America MetroPark in West Chester Twp. CONTRIBUTED

A local fundraising walk that honors the lifelong contributions of canine caregivers hopes to grow stronger in its third year via a merger.

West Chester Bark For Life, a 5K noncompetitive walk/run event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society, recently merged with Bark For Life of Cincinnati because there were two of the same events going on in the same year, according to event coordinator Theresa Baker.

“We merged to create a bigger impact within the entire Greater Cincinnati community for the life-saving mission of the American Cancer Society,” Baker said. “Just like the Shamrock Shuffle, I’d like to continue this event and make it bigger and better each year.”

Explore MORE POPULAR STORIES: What a local politician’s bicycle taught him about campaigning (and winning)

Bark For Life is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 14 by the lake at Voice of America MetroPark with one’s canine. The Saturday event not only pays tribute to canine caregivers who help those afflicted with cancer, but also honors those lost to cancer, battling cancer and surviving cancer.

This year’s event features pet vendors, games, demonstrations, radio station entertainment, raffle baskets and dog contests. Participants can form teams to walk/run and raise money for the American Cancer Society. It also includes a Survivor/Caregiver Ceremony, a Fight Back Ceremony and a Luminaria Ceremony.

The local Bark for Life’s inaugural event in 2016 included 40 participants and raised more than $2,000. Last year, it attracted 125 guests and 15 vendors and raised about $7,000, Baker said.

“This year I’d like even more guests and raise $10,000,” she said. “The joining of teams and participants will hopefully create a bigger and better turnout.”

Baker, who lost many family members to cancer including her father, said it is important for her to organize the event and help the cause it serves.

“I’ve devoted my time for the past three years to this event and the past eight years to Lakota West Relay for Life in hopes of making a difference in the community,” she said.

For more information, including how to participate, volunteer or donate, visit www.relayforlife.org/barkcincinnatioh or email addie.vondenbenken@cancer.org. Registration also will be available the day of the event. T-shirts and tickets for raffle baskets will be available for purchase.