Over $7,000 was raised to sponsor a guide dog during the second annual Chestermere Lions Foundation Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides on Sept. 19.
“Our Lions Club in Chestermere sponsors a dog for a Chestermerian, we’re already doing that, this is going to help out even more,” said Event Organizer Mel Foat.
“We had about 15 people there, it wasn’t overall attended, but I’m thankful for what we got, and it went well,” he said.
The funds raised will stay in the community to help train a guide dog for a Chestermere resident.
Funds raised from the Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides go directly towards helping provide Dog Guides to Canadians with disabilities.
“We are the largest school of its kind that provides Dog Guides in seven programs including Hearing, Service, Canine Vision, Seizure Response, Diabetic Alert, Autism Assistance and Facility Support,” said Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides Communications Coordinator, Angela Thibert.
She added, “Each Dog Guide takes approximately $35,000 to breed, train and place with recipients at no cost to them. As a charity that receives no government funding, we rely on fundraising events like these and generous donations from the public.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lions Foundation of Canada placed 142 dogs with Canadians in need.
Bringing the Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides to Chestermere is important for Foat as he is a recipient of two service dogs.
“The first one, Walker, we had to retire at seven due to his shoulders but he’s still a family pet, and Warden came to me in 2019 and we’ve been beating up the pavement pretty well together,” Foat said.
“I have a real passion, if someone is that kind to give me such a generous donation to make my life better, then I want to support that all that I can, and make it available for other people,” he said.
Without the support of sponsors and businesses that sponsored the Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides, the event wouldn’t have been possible.
“I want to thank all the sponsors and businesses within the City of Chestermere that sponsored this, and I want to especially thank the Lions Club of Chestermere for thinking this is such an important event and supporting this as well as they did,” Foat said.