Dogs kick-off Relay for Life

Bark for Life, a branch of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, celebrates and honors cancer fighters - those furry friends who have cancer, have survived cancer, died from cancer, or have been a loyal canine companion to their humans as they battled cancer.

The senior project of Yosemite High student, Jackie Dowdy, Bark for Life will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 18, at the Oakhurst Elementary School.

Since Dowdy plans on becoming a veterinarian and hopes to attend U.C. Davis, this is a perfect fit. An Ahwahnee resident, she sees it as a way not only to learn more about her community, but to give back.

“I moved here my freshman year from Visalia,” Dowdy explained, “and noticed a huge difference. In Visalia, people just care about their own families ... here, everyone knows everyone, and everyone helps everyone. There’s no ‘me, me, me’ ... it’s ‘us, us, us,’ and I want to be a part of that.”

The event will offer dog competitions, including, a dog look-alike contest, most athletic, and most obedient dog; winners will win ribbons. Items will be raffled off - for $5 you receive tickets the length of your arm.

Kellen Rescue will bring dogs eligible for adoption, and Cal Fire will give a presentation on fire safety and your pets. For a small fee, with all monies going to the American Cancer Society, Larson Bros. Photography will take a photo of you and your pooch. A Pet Luminaria Booth will be onhand for the purchase of luminarias, which can be used later at the Relay for Life event in May. Of course, there will be concession stands, offering both tasty human and doggie treats.

Opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m., with games and contests until 11:45. A Luminaria Ceremony will begin at noon, and raffles will run through 1:45 p.m. The closing ceremony follows, at 1:50.

All friendly dogs and all ages are welcome. Dogs must be on leashes.

“I hope everyone who has a dog, or who has lost a dog to cancer, will come together to have fun, to thank their dogs for being supportive companions, to remember their dogs, and to kick-off Relay for Life,” Dowdy said.

To pre-register at $15 per dog, see and search for the event by entering 93644. The cost at the door is $20 for the first dog, and $15 for each dog thereafter. All monies raised go to the American Cancer Society.

Note: Relay for Life will be held May 16-17 at the YHS football stadium.