The area’s Biggest Dog friendly 5k.
Thanks to everyone that participated as a runner, volunteer, donor, sponsor, and all the organizers, the Dash for the Dog Park 5k was a huge success again in 2015! With the ideal weather in late September and the beautiful setting in Saratoga Spa State Park it was a perfect day. About 110 humans and 53 dog participants finished this year and were awarded an event shirt and participant ribbons. We all enjoyed some great donated refreshments, checked out the vendor booths, bought tickets for the amazing raffle items that were donated and were thrilled with the dog friendly atmosphere that is so rare.
The Kickoff Party at The Barrelhouse on Beekman Street was a great success as well. A big thank you to Charlie and Tyler for letting us have a dog friendly social hour on your patio and for Lagunitas Brewing Company donating some sudsy refreshments. The Afer Party at Henry Street Taproom was equally successful. We couldn’t let the dogs inside but it was great to wind down from the 5k with good food and great tasting craft beer from Lagunitas Brewing Company. A huge thank you to Ryan and Sonja for letting us host our party there and to Drew for spinning his record collection for donations. Both of these awesome social events were put together with Brenda of Craft Beer Guild. Brenda put together the awesome raffle baskets at the parties that were full of cool Lagunitas gear for dogs and humans. We are especially grateful to Liam, Jimmy and Lindsey at Lagunitas Brewing Company for donating great beer and merchandise for these events again.
We can’t finish our shout outs until we thank a few more people who volunteered greatly to this event and who help Priceless Companions when ever asked. A big thank you Mike Ruggerio who spent his morning donating his photography skills. With out his help we wouldn’t have been able to capture this great event. Mike snapped hundreds of photos, those here on our blog and also all the photos on Dash for the Dog Park’s Facebook page. Dash for the Dog Park certainly would not look the same if it wasn’t for Jennifer McDonald. Jennifer is a fantastic designer with local Evision Digital Marketing, owner and operator of the local SaratogaDogLovers.com, and volunteer with the Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park Dog Park. Jennifer put countless hours into designing the logo, flyers, yard signs, Facebook page and the awesome website for DashForTheDogPark.com. Thank you so much Jennifer we could not have done this without you. Certainly Dash for the Dog Park wouldn’t have grown without the help of the other Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park Dog Park Karissa Desofi (Co-Owner, Priceless Companions) and Courtney Gelish (Owner, Unleashed Canine Care). Of course we couldn’t have done anything without the help of Andy Damon (NYS Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation) and all of his coordinating skills. Andy has since moved on with his career, no longer with the NYS Parks, and will be greatly missed for all his hard work and communication.
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The morning of the race had started early with setup and thanks to everyone who showed up to help, it went very smoothly and you could tell the day was going to be successful. Inkwells Printing Co. was on site with their Mobile Printing Shop performing their Live Printing theatrics. As a top sponsor Inkwells kindly printed all the awards, dog ribbons, and event shirts. Priceless Companions had our setup with Inkwells and together we printed and sold our #ResucePupCampaign line of t-shirts and apparel. Right in the thick of setting up the event State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco arrived to greet us organizers so we could all introduce ourselves. Assemblyman Tedisco was slated to receive the Animal Advocacy Award on behalf of the Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park Dog Park. A very deserved award for Tedisco who has been so influential in protecting and standing up for the animals of New York State. Through his legislation of the landmark Buster’s Law animal cruelty was made a felony. Then he again was groundbreaking by establishing the first ever NYS Animal Advocacy Day to give a voice to all members of our families.
It was now time the race to commence so all the organizers lined up at the mic to get things under weigh. In the crowd before us it seemed that for every two people their was a dog eager to get running and it was great to see. We presented Assemblyman Tedisco his Animal Advocacy Award and passed the mic to him to speak to the huge crowd of animal advocates. He was gracious of his award and humbly took this opportunity to talk about his current proposal of legislation (A.2484) to create a statewide registry of animal abusers, require them to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and prohibit them from ever owning an animal again. Boy was that a crowd pleaser, everyone cheered and was grateful of Tedisco’s efforts. As Tedisco was about finished he turned to us to congratulate us on our achievements and our efforts benefiting our local dog community and park. He presented Priceless Companions with an official New York State Assembly Citation honoring our continued animal advocacy, strong passion, and our services to organize the Dash for the Dog Park and it’s success.
What an honor it was to be surprised with such an acknowledgment from a State Assemblyman. It truly made all the work even more rewarding. The Dash for the Dog Park 2015 was a resounding success. We raised over $1500 combined at both parties and with the 5k raffle and participant fees our grand total for 2015 was $6500! Thank you everyone so much, it was with great pleasure for all the organizers to work towards and we exceeded last year’s total raised, by $1700.