Dog owners hold a socially distant walk in lieu of annual K94K
SILVERTHORNE — As with most events this year, the League for Animals and People of Summit had to turn its annual K94K fundraiser virtual.
That didn’t stop residents in the Angler Mountain Ranch neighborhood in Silverthorne from joining together for a socially distant dog walk. Around 40 people and dogs showed up to the event on Saturday, Aug. 1, to raise money for the nonprofit.
Mary Harmeyer, a league board member and event organizer, said the goal was to give the community a chance to come together and gather more donations for the organization.
“I think the hardest thing about everything has been trying to figure out how to be social and try to be a neighborhood and have fun,” Harmeyer said. “Since we’re outside, you can see everyone’s been phenomenal, everyone has mask and is staying their distance. You can see how much Summit County loves its dogs.”
Dog owners across Summit County are able to register their pup for the event on Saturday and Sunday for $25. So far, the organiztion has raised about $7,000 for its 30th annual event.
Participation in the virtual event, which usually is held in Frisco, decreased from years past. About 75 dogs were registered as of Saturday morning, about half of what the nonprofit has seen in years past.
However, President Sally Beerup was grateful the organization was able to still have the event. Unlike the K94K, the nonprofit cancelled other fundraising events like its annual silent auction and “flea market,” which brought in $25,000 last year.
“We didn’t really feel right asking (for) sponsors of any kind, this year is bad for everybody,” Beerup said. “We thought let’s just pull back and what we make is what we make.”
Reid and Kim Storch attended the event with their great Pyrenees, Teton. Reid said the event was a wonderful way to get connected to the community in a time of isolation.
“It feels normal,” he said. “A lot of these important social, community, work models are really being dinged by the whole virus. Like (Harmeyer) said, it’s great to see that the event can go on.”
Those who didn’t attend the in person event in Silverthorne were able to do the 4K on their own and post pictures with their dogs. On Sunday, Aug. 2, pet owners will also be able to come out to the Summit County Animal Control and Shelter to participate in another walk, said Harmeyer, who works at the shelter.
To register a dog for the walk at the shelter, which will start at 9 a.m. on Sunday, visit SummitLAPS.org.
The organization will also be hosting a virtual concert by Randall McKinnon, who will be performing at the animal shelter, at 9 a.m. on Sunday and streamed on Facebook. McKinnon will be accepting “tips” during the concert that he will later donate to the organization.
All of the funds raised through the virtual event will be put into the nonprofit’s “general pot,” which helps fund its programs, Beerup said. The nonprofit provides financial aid for adoption, spay, neuter and medical fees. It also provides vouchers for spay and neuter services at local veterinary and pet hospitals.
The group also provides low-income medical assistance grants for companion animals and donates to the Cheyenne and Chappy funds which support both pets with life-shortening illnesses and pets that are abused.
Most recently, the nonprofit added a program to provide $50 veterinary vouchers for Summit County locals who have been affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. People can apply to receive the $50 by filling out the application on the LAPS website and emailing email@example.com. The league is offering the voucher through Aug. 31.
All of the nonprofit’s services are available to people who live or work in Summit County, Beerup said.
“That’s our main focus, really, to stop the overpopulation and euthenasia and all the poor little pups that end up in the shelters that don’t act like ours,” she said. “Ours is a wonderful shelter.”
Harmeyer said the organization is crucial to protecting the wellbeing of dogs and cats in Summit County.
“The tie between (the league and the shelter) is just so critical,” she said. “We, at the shelter, couldn’t do so many things without them.”
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