by Dennis Dalman
The staff and friends of the Tri-County Humane Society are ecstatic about the resounding success of “Bark to the Future,” the biggest annual fundraiser for the organization.
The walking event for both people and their pets came within a hair’s breadth of its goal –$60,000, with $55,500 raised at last count, said Kate Kompas, volunteer and events coordinator for the TCHS.
“We were pleased as punch,” she said. “It’s a new record for us.”
The $60,000 goal was the highest set in the 30-year history of the annual walkathon fundraiser. The money will be used for day-to-day general operations, Kompas noted. More fundraising efforts are ongoing with hopes of raising money for a TCHS shelter expansion project.
This year’s event, which took place Sept. 8 once again at Wilson Park in St. Cloud, was dubbed “Bark to the Future,” a nod to the popular 1980s movie “Back to the Future.” In the park, there were many 1980s-themed games and the presence of two vintage DeLorean cars, like the one used in the famous movie.
Kompas noted the turnout for both people and dogs was exceptional this time, with 655 people participating along with 361 dogs. That’s 200 more people than last year and 100 more dogs.
The TCHS adoption rate has steadily increased throughout the years and now hovers in the mid-90 percent range. In 2017, the organization, staffed mainly with volunteers, adopted out 2,746 animals. It placed 1,208 animals with foster-care volunteers, and it spayed/neutered 1,699 animals. It also hosted 45 spay/neuter clinics in the area, not to mention many educational outreach programs.
For more information about TCHS, how to adopt, how to donate or how to volunteer, visit to tricountyhumanesociety.org.