FROM READERS: Bark for Life of Boone County fundraises for American Cancer Society

Saturday, April 26, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Gaby Lopez has been involved with Bark for Life for three years.

Describe your organization or event. What is its purpose? What makes it special or unique?

Bark for Life is in conjunction with Boone County's Relay for Life event in May. While most teams put together booths with snacks, T-shirts or games at the main event, our team decided to try an event fundraiser beforehand.

Here is the tentative schedule for the event:

10:00 a.m. Registration and Silent Auction opens up
10:25 a.m. Speaker for Bark for Life
10:30 a.m. Walk
11:00 a.m. K-9 unit demo and Q&A
11:10 a.m. Refreshments
11:20 a.m. Best Dressed Contest
11:35 a.m. Best talent Contest
11:45 a.m. Ball Toss Contest
12:00 p.m. Dancing Dog troop
12:20 p.m. Agility Course
12:30 p.m. Cake walk
12:30 p.m. Silent auction ends
12:50 p.m. Wrap up

Here, unlike the official Relay for Life event, the focus is not only on cancer survivors, but also on having a carefree day at the dog park.

What is your relationship to the organization/event (staff, member, participant, fan, etc.), and how long have you been involved?

I've been a member of this relay team for the past three years. I keep coming back because my team captain, Jamie McDonald, always makes it so enjoyable and our team is so involved with the theme. Last year I shamelessly walked around the Columbia Mall as a gingerbread man for our Candy Land booth. Each time we participate in an event like this I think our team sees it as a challenge to be more successful than the last year!

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You can find Bark for Life as a registered event on, or it can be found as a Facebook event under Bark for Life. Questions and registrations can be emailed to

The actual Bark for Life event takes place Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Twin Lakes Recreation Area on Chapel Hill Road. Registration can also take place the morning of the event, it's $15 for the first dog and $5 for each after that.

Describe why you chose to be involved, and why other people might also want to participate. You may be brief, but feel free to also write at length about why this matters to you personally.

Relay for Life is always such a great event that benefits the American Cancer Society. Our team chose to put together an extra event in addition to our booth to try and drum up more publicity and raise more money. Bark for Life is open to anyone and is great because your dog can come for some treats and playtime. It's very active, and community based with tons of fun activities, like a puppy obstacle course, cake walk, and costume contest planned. Each participant receives his own official Relay for Life bandana and treat bag as well as a shot at some great gift baskets.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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