by Dennis Dalman
As the 25th annual “Woofstock Companion Walk” approaches, organizers are seeking people who want to take part in the event and raise funds to help homeless animals.
Still needed for the event, besides pledge walkers, are exhibitors, prizes, silent-auction items and donated food and beverages. For more details, see last part of this story.
The 5k fundraising walk for the Tri-County Humane Society will take place Saturday, Sept. 7 at Wilson Park in St. Cloud. The festive fundraiser is named “Woofstock” as a pun on “Woodstock,” the famed 1960s music festival. Each year, Woofstock is a riot of color as owners and their pets often show up wearing hippy-type paraphernalia: headbands, tie-dyed T-shirts, love beads, peace signs.
This year, registration will take place from 9-10 a.m.. The walk will begin at 10 a.m. Food and lots of fun festivities will happen from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Many prizes will be awarded to top money raisers. Those who raise $75 will receive a Woofstock tote bag: $150 a tote bag and pet microchip; $200 a tote bag, microchip and Woofstock T-shirt; $300 a tote bag, microchip, T-shirt and entry in the grand-prize drawing.
The top 40 pledge raisers will all receive prize packages and gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses that regularly support the efforts of the local humane society.
The goal of this year’s Woofstock is to raise $50,000 that will be used to spay and neuter and for other forms of care for the thousands of animals the humane-society shelter receives every year.
Last year 500 pet lovers and 300 animals enjoyed the 5k walk.
There are many ways to help make Woofstock a success. The following are ways to help:
• To become a walker, print out a pledge form at www.tricountyhumanesociety.org/events/companion-walk. Then submit all donations you receive the day of Woofstock between 9-10 a.m. There is no minimum amount to raise.
• For online donations, go to givemn.razoo.com/team/25th-Annual-Woofstock-Companion-Walk-1. Then add your name to the leader board under “Join This Team.” Click “Fundraise.” Type your first and last name under “Fundraiser Name.” Then click “Start Fundraising.” You will be able to customize your fundraising page and send invites to friends and family asking them to sponsor you by making a donation to the Tri-County Humane Society online. To qualify for prizes, print out your total online donations raised and turn it in with your pledge at registration the morning of the walk.
• Walk with a team: If you want to create your own fundraising team, agree on a team name and write it on the Woofstock Companion Walk pledge form found on the TCHS website. Each teammate’s efforts will be combined to qualify for the top fundraising team prize.
• To be an exhibitor: The exhibitor deadline is Aug. 26. Hundreds of walkers will browse the exhibitor tables before and after the walk. Details on how to become an exhibitor can be found in the “Exhibitor Form and Agreement” on the TCHS website: www.tricountyhumanesociety.org.
• To be an event contributor: Monetary donations can be mailed to the Tri-County Humane Society, P.O. Box 701, St. Cloud, MN 56302 or online at: givemn.razoo.com/story/25th-Annual-Woofstock-Companion-Walk-2. Donations of food and beverages are always welcome, even if it is only a case of soda pop. Call the TCHS if you have a food or beverage donation to make.
Organizers are still seeking more gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses.
At the end of the event there will be a silent auction. Auction items are still being accepted. The items can be picked up by TCHS volunteers. Call Marit Ortega, TCHS manager of fund development, to contribute donations, prizes or for more information, at 320-252-0896.