One More Walkathon For Southeastern Guide Dogs
Two down, one to go – head to Vinoy Park in St. Pete for Southeastern Guide Dogs’ biggest fundraiser of the year!
Every year Southeastern Guide Dogs’ Walkathon draws supporters from all over the country. Some are volunteers, some graduates, some sponsors and others just want to get out and walk with their best friend.
Now, the final Walkathon of the season is upon us! Saturday, March 9, fans, supporters, donors, puppy raisers, graduates, and of course their dogs will converge on Vinoy Park to walk for a great cause. Last year’s walk in St. Pete saw the biggest crowds in the 27-year history of Walkathon and hopes are that will be surpassed this year!
The Walkathon went back to its roots and was supported by more than 1,500 people and hundreds of dogs. It was a beautiful morning and families enjoyed all the Manatee Riverfront has to offer.
Next, the Walkathon moved to Sarasota for its second walk at Payne Park on March 2. Our friends from the south came out in full force despite the cold and rainy start to the day. More than 700 people and their four-legged family members came out to show their support making this event a resounding success.
What makes our Walkathons different from all other charity walks? It’s dog-friendly, of course!
Not only are dogs welcome, but expected to join in on the fun – and your registration includes a dog bandana (and a T-shirt for you!). You’re likely to be walking alongside dogs from Southeastern as well, as many graduates, puppy raisers and ambassador handlers join in the fun and are expected to participate in at least one, if not all three, of the walks. There is even a chance for you to experience what it is like to walk blindfolded with a trained dog.
There are lots of activities for the family after you have made your way around the 3K course. There will be music, kid-zone activities, local vendors, our own Southeastern Guide Dogs gift shop, food galore, and many other happenings! Additionally, at the St. Petersburg walk there will be a raffle drawn for a grand prize of $10,000! Raffle tickets are available now and can be turned in at all three walks. These are a great way to fundraise.
So why are the Walkathons so important? It is estimated that it costs Southeastern $60,000 for each guide dog team created—a pretty hefty price tag. Recipients of these amazing guide dogs pay nothing for the dog or the nearly month of in-residence training they receive.
Southeastern receives no government funding, rather, they rely on the generosity of the community to fund their mission. So you can see, every dollar raised from the Walkathons goes to providing someone with mobility and independence.
Will we see you on Saturday at Vinoy Park? We hope so, and don’t forget to bring your dog along too!