Annie Camp EAST Helps to Keep "Dog Days" Going


Annie Camp EAST Helps to Keep "Dog Days" Going
8/15/2013 3:31:31 PM

Walking dogs, raising funds. “Bark in the Park” organizers say inaugural event successful.

Jonesboro – It was truly a dog day afternoon. Lots of tail wagging and a few barks now and then set the tone Saturday for the inaugural Bark in the Park, a fund-raiser created and organized by a determined group of Annie Camp Junior High EAST students.

"We've had a great time, and the dogs have too," said Grace T., one of the event's chief organizers. The relay walk  event netted some $343 to benefit the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society. Windy, warm conditions brought walking enthusiasts — whether on two or four legs — out to Craighead Forest Park for the relay.

Cathy Caldwell of Jonesboro was one of the walkers. She brought Sally, her white German Shepherd, and the two enjoyed themselves. "She loves to go for walks, and I do too. She's a Humane Society dog, and you can tell that she knows she's been given a second chance," Caldwell said, smiling as she glanced down at the pooch. The relay was made up of 4-person, 4-dog teams in which each member traveled a half-mile route at the park with one of the canines. The first-place winner took home dog treats, with the top three finishers receiving ribbons in recognition of their efforts.

Grace and a group of her 7th grade classmates from Annie Camp's EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) program collaborated on how to set up the event, creating fliers that are posted around campus and a brochure explaining the relay to participants. There were dogs of all sizes and breeds walking alongside human companions, including four brought from the NEAHS' shelter. "The dogs have had a lot of fun being out here today," Janet Thiel, society president, said. "They love being around the kids."

A fun walk coincided with the relay for those without a team. A drawing was conducted for a doggy gift pack, and a tent had been set up for donations to the society. All dogs were kept on leashes throughout the event. Children under 10 years of age were required to have an adult with them in order to walk. "We've been watching the teams go back and forth, and everyone is having a great time," said Max Carter, ACE student and event co-organizer.

When all the walkers returned to the gathering point at Fort Rotary they received applause for an afternoon of giving and supporting a worthy cause. "We are so happy to have had this event," said Dr. Ross Marlay, NEAHS spokesman. "We're very grateful to the students for helping these dogs and cats." One of the parents on hand credited the youngsters for making the relay happen. "I am proud of all of them," said Jackie Carter, Max's mother. "They are a great group of kids."



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