Event gets dogs involved in fight against cancer

Update — Due to weather, Dubois County Relay for Life has moved the Bark for Life event to Rural King in Jasper. The event, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, will be from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Rural King, 1920 Lube Way, Jasper.



JASPER — Dubois County Relay for Life is getting man’s best friend involved in helping people with cancer.

On Saturday morning, dogs and their owners will gather at Bohnert Park in Jasper for Bark for Life. The event — which is a spinoff of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life — raises money for Relay for Life through community members bringing their dogs out to the park for a walk. To participate in the event, attendees pay a registration fee, set at $20 day of, and walk their dogs around the track at Bohnert Park. Proceeds from the event will benefit Dubois County’s 2020 Relay for Life.

“Tina [Heichelbech] and I were trying to come up with some ideas to revive relay,” said Diane O’Keefe.

O’Keefe and Heichelbech co-chair the 2020 Dubois County Relay for Life. Over the last few years, O’Keefe said, the pair has seen a decline in participation and proceeds at the county’s relay event.

“I think it’s like that with any annual event,” O’Keefe said. “There’s just so much going on. People are spread thin. And it’s been going on for so long. This year [2020] will be our 23rd year.”

O’Keefe and Heichelbech hope they can drum up interest again. This weekend’s Bark for Life is part of that effort.

Each attendee at the event will get a goodie bag and a bandanna for their pup to wear, as well as a chance to win a best trick and a best dressed competition. There will also be a raffle.

O’Keefe said much of the money raised through Dubois County’s relay events stays in the county through American Cancer Society services such as Road to Recovery and Look Good, Feel Better. Road to Recovery offers cancer patients transportation to and from treatment. Look Good, Feel Better helps women who have lost their hair through treatment find wigs and learn how to style them.

The Dubois County Humane Society will also be on-site Saturday with adoptable dogs begging to be walked by attendees who don’t have a dog of their own.

DCHS volunteers will also offer low-cost microchipping for dogs at the event. That service is $15.

Registration for the event will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the walk running from 9 to 11 a.m. All participating dogs must be up to date on their vaccinations, and participants will be asked to sign liability waivers.

For more information, contact O’Keefe at 812-630-2301 or Heichelbech at 812-639-7938.

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