St. Ann Center has gone to the dogs…in the best possible way! An enthusiastic crowd of 115 humans of all ages accompanied by a happy pack of furry friends participated in our 2nd annual Darby’s Dash on Saturday, October 3rd. The pet-friendly fun run and walk raised $4,180 to support the health, wellness and educational day services St. Ann Center provides for children, the frail elderly and adults with special needs.
The event, held on the eve of the Feast of St. Francis and World Pet Day, started off with a pet blessing, followed by a pre-race stretch led by our friends at Chiropractic Health & Wellness. Mother Nature provided brisk, energizing weather for two- and four-footed racers, who followed a picturesque course from St. Ann Center through the grounds and grape arbor of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi Motherhouse and St. Francis Seminary woods.
The cast of canine characters ranged from corgis, golden doodles, labs and a Samoyed to some of the most adorable mutts imaginable. Pups with extra energy tried out the agility course sponsored by the Cudahy Kennel Club. Others opted to unwind with pet massages offered by Joe Ralston, who along with fellow St. Ann Center massage therapist Sandy Anderson gave chair massages for their owners, too. A caricature artist sponsored by State Farm’s Better State Crew sketched up mementos of dog athletes and their people. Raffles prizes, games and booths sponsored by Mac’s Pet Depot Barkery, Greyhound Pets of America-Wisconsin, Layton Animal Hospital and VCA Pahle Animal Hospital helped make the day a bone-a-fide success.
Special thanks go to our sponsors and donors Schiro & Zarzynski Law Offices and their wonder dog Wickett , Orchard Street Press, who made the event’s fetching T-shirts, totes and swag, plus Cream City Swirl, Outpost and Colectivo, who provided refreshments. We’re also grateful to St. Ann Center’s best friends, our many volunteers, who prepared snacks, passed out water and cheered on runners and walkers.