By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP —
In a lot of ways, the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League’s year will be made or broken Saturday, as volunteers put the finishing touches on the largest fundraiser of the year for the shelter.
The Ashtabula County Boo Wow Walk will be held Saturday at Maple Ridge Golf Course on Route 45 in Austinburg Township.
The Boo Wow Walk is an opportunity for pet owners and their dogs to trick-or-treat through a one-mile trail. Registered walkers gather pledges and funds to win grand prizes. All proceeds benefit the APL. The walk is the APL’s biggest fundraiser of the year and raised $25,000 last year to keep the shelter running through the new year, despite the event being flooded with rain.
“We are looking forward to this year,” APL board president Diane Carr said, “hopefully with some drier weather and a lot of people and pets.”
Carole Stormer-Vaux methodically folded T-shirt after T-shirt Sunday in preparation for hundreds of dogs and their owners. Stormer-Vaux, of REMAX Innovations, is the walk’s title sponsor this year. REMAX Innovations has offices in Madison and Jefferson.
“This is such a huge fundraiser and it is for such a great cause,” she said. “Everybody deserves a good home, and I hope we can make a difference with the Boo Wow Walk.”
The 2012 walk can accommodate 500 pooches and will include many treat stops, a photo booth for keepsake pictures, the annual costume contest, food including walking tacos and hot dogs, top prizes with three top-of-the-line prize packages to the three people who earn the most money in pledges for the shelter.
“The pledges for the walk are so important to the shelter,” Carr said. “We need people to get out there and ask their friends, neighbors, family and co-workers to pitch in and sponsor their dogs. The prizes people can win are great, too.”
Of course, APL dogs will be available for adoption at the event.
Parking will be at the Crossroads Community Church on Austinburg Road, with free shuttle service to the golf course. Bus transportation begins at 10:30 a.m., registration opens at noon and the walk begins at 1 p.m.
Carr said people and pets can dress in costume for the walk for the traditional costume contest. Categories include spookiest, funniest, most creative, best group theme, best dog-owner pair, best large dog costume and best small dog costume.
“The costume contest has become a real competition among our walkers,” Carr said. “Everyone wants those bragging rights!”
Walk registration forms and pledge sheets are available at www.acapl.org. Registration is $20. Money from pledges should be turned in at the time of registration to be in the running for the grand prizes.