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Lions Club’s Walk for Dog Guides fundraiser set for Sunday

[File photo]

The weatherman says it’ll be a nice day for a walk, but come what may, the Wellesley and District Lions Club – and hundreds of other clubs, for that matter – will be hitting the trails Sunday for the Walk for Dog Guides.

All the proceeds raised go towards supporting the Lions Foundation of Canada. More specifically, to training guide dogs to help people with various categories, including vision, hearing, seizure response, diabetic alert, and service. It costs some $25,000 to train each these dogs, after which the organization provides free of charge to qualified applicants.

“It’s an excellent way to come out and enjoy a fun day in the community,” said organizer Jason Trussell of the upcoming fundraiser in Wellesley. “Walk with your friends, families, coworkers – it’s a great event to get out and get to know your neighbours.”

As of Tuesday, the group had nearly raised $1,500 for the cause. The event begins at the covered pavilion near the arena/playground at Catherine Street in Wellesley, then towards the gas station on Queen’s Bush Road. It is fully accessible and will take roughly half an hour to complete. There will be stops along the way for dogs to take a drink.

“Then we’ll finish off with some refreshments,” said Hoffman. “We usually have some local sponsors. We also have some gifts we were able to award incentive wise for the youngest walker, the one who raised the most, different categories such as that.”

It has been a tradition in Wellesley community for years. Last time out, walkers managed to raise more than $2,500 for the cause. It is also a tradition in some 300 cities across Canada. Another local dog walk will take place in Breslau on the same day; the group has raised more than $6,000.

Deb Cserhalmi, a member of the Mosborough Busy Busy Lions Club, a cyber club created in 2017 to help the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, will be hosting an Elmira dog walk sometime in the fall.

“It’s a great way to get to know your neighbours; socialize their dogs – we don’t have a lot of local dog walks,” said another organizer of the Wellesley walk, Kari Hoffman. “The core of it, of course, is supporting the dog guides.

“I don’t think that a lot of people realize how many different dog guides there are, and how it’s provided completely free to the family members who are receiving them. So donating to them is very important to support that.”

Founded in 1983, the Lions Foundation of Canada has matched some 2,700 guide dogs to recipients with medical or physical disabilities. The training process of these dog guides is from four to eight months with a qualified instructor before they are given to those in need.

Attendees do not necessarily need a dog to walk in this family-friendly event but are more than welcome to bring them out. All ages generally come out to support these types of dog walks.

It is scheduled for this Sunday. Sign-in starts at 12:30 p.m., and the walk begins at 1 p.m. For those who want to learn more or sign up online, visit www.walkfordogguides.com.

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