Bark For Life in Frisco to benefit American Cancer Society |

Bark For Life in Frisco to benefit American Cancer Society

Jessica Smith
Cancer survivor Todd "TJ" Johnson adopted Buddy the dog from the Summit County Animal Shelter in 2010. Johnson is now organizing Bark For Life, a dog-oriented fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.
Jessica Smith / | Summit Daily News

Bark For Life

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 8
  • Time: 9 a.m. to noon
  • Location: Day Lodge, Frisco Adventure Park
  • Cost: $20, all proceed to go to the American Cancer Society
  • To pre-register or make a donation, visit
  • For" target="_blank">target="_blank">
  • For more information or to volunteer, contact TJ Johnson at (970) 485-9932 or href=""
  • target="_blank">

Summit County’s very first Bark For Life event will take place Sunday, Sept. 8, at the Frisco Adventure Park Day Lodge. Bark For Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, is being organized by a group of Summit County locals who want to combine their love of dogs with the cause they’re passionate about.

One of the driving forces behind the event is Todd “TJ” Johnson, a former Red, White & Blue firefighter and cancer survivor. In 2008, Johnson was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor and went through various treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation and brain surgery. The fire department and the Summit County community rallied behind him, throwing a fundraiser and showing their support.

“I was just overwhelmed with the amount of people that came that either knew me, or knew someone who had cancer, who came to support me, so I’ve just been looking for ways to give back to the community,” Johnson said.

Two years after his diagnosis, Johnson adopted his dog Buddy from the local animal shelter. Since then, Buddy has not only cheered Johnson up on tough days but also trained as a therapy animal to bring comfort and joy to those who need it. Most recently he spent time at a summer camp for adults with traumatic brain injuries put on by the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC).

When Johnson heard about Bark For Life events through the American Cancer Society, he felt that it would be perfect for a place like Summit County.

“Everyone loves dogs in Summit County,” he said.

The event consists of a one-mile noncompetitive walk, as well as a raffle and musical entertainment. In addition to fundraising, it’s meant to be a social event where dog owners and their four-legged companions can mingle and have a good time.

“Everybody has either known someone or have in their own life had cancer, been affected by it, and some people know dogs that have helped people in their fight,” Johnson said. “It’s a way to just come out and donate and be part of a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.”

Johnson and the organizers are still looking for volunteers, as well as donations for the raffle. Those that can’t attend but would still like to donate can do so at

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.