Bark for Life has second successful year

PLYMOUTH — Humans and their furry four-legged friends were invited to become part of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) secon annual Bark For Life event Saturday at Centennial Park.
The site is the same as Relay for Life Marshall County by the tennis courts (Freyman Shelter). Bark For Life is a fundraising event for ACS that honors the caregiving qualities of canine companions. This event takes place to acknowledge dogs for their loyalty, friendship, unwavering love and support they provide to their human owners.
Registration began at 11 a.m. with an opening ceremony at noon. Participants entered their pets in contests such as Smallest Dog, Largest Dog, Happiest Tail, Best Trick, Handsomest Male, Prettiest Female, Best Barker and Best Costume. The cost to enter was $1 per contest.
Last year’s event —the first of its kind in the Marshall County area — was very successful and it continues to grow each year. That fight against cancer has now become a year-round effort. All funds raised Saturday will go toward the 2012 Relay For Life Marshall County (June 23-24) for cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services.  
For Chair Lyn Ward, this is a “passion within a passion.” She first got involved with Relay in 2004 interviewing cancer survivors prior to the all-night event for the Pilot News and then experiencing the enthusiasm at Relay. Her passion to find a cure for the disease hasonly grown as a result.  
“These were some of the bravest, finest people I ever met and interviewed,” she recalled.
At the time, her rescued greyhound Cutter joined her at the event. Rescuing these former racers and animal rights in general are ongoing passions. Over the years, the rules for dogs at Relay have precluded them being part of the event unless confined to their campsite.
“This is an opportunity for them to participate in their own special event and still help the cause,” she said. “Since dogs get cancer, too, we will be honoring our canine loved ones that have fought the disease.” Some didn’t win the fight including greyhound Cutter. Information on recognizing potential cancer signs in canines was also presented at the event.