By Isiah REYES
Registration is now underway for the 4th Annual California Council of the Blind 2K and 5K Mutt Strut walk that takes place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Crescenta Valley Park. Everyone is invited to bring a canine friend, whether a trained guide dog or the family pooch.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. with the run starting at 9 a.m., and the walk starting at 9:15 a.m. The registration fee for this event will be $30 for adults, $15 for students ages 14-18, $10 for children ages 6-13, and children under age 5 and participating dogs are free.
Donna Pomerantz, the Los Angeles California Council of the Blind Mutt Strut Committee chair, said the event is extremely important to host because the council does not receive any government funding. By supporting Mutt Strut, the community and organization supporters allow the council to provide needed services and programs.
“One of the fun things about Mutt Strut is that it gives our members and the community the opportunity to be out in a wonderful, welcoming venue and it promotes fitness and being able to walk or run,” Pomerantz said. “People are able to come out to a family event and bring their dogs.”
People who register for the walk will receive their very own “wag bag,” which currently includes collapsible doggie bowls, Frisbees and dog shampoos among other things. Snacks, coffee and water will be available before and after the run/walk for all participants and volunteers. Vendors, entertainment and a raffle will conclude the event.
About 75 to 100 volunteers are expected to lend a hand at this year’s Mutt Strut. One of the volunteers from last year was Jessy Shelton, who acted as a guide for one of the runners.
“It was really interesting to hear what [the runner] had to say about not being able to see and how it was like using a guide dog,” Shelton said. “It was like life from a different perspective.”
“I thought it was a really good event to get involved with,” said Dylan Sylvester, also a volunteer with the 2013 event. “It’s important to the community and I just think it’s an event that helps a lot of people. It was a lot of fun and a good learning experience for everybody.”
The Mutt Strut is one of the council’s larger fundraising initiatives. As a result of the event and the funds that it brings in, the California Council of the Blind is able to provide crisis support for people who are visually impaired and need financial support and assistance to stay in their home and on their feet.
To learn more, including registering for the Mutt Strut, visit www.ccbnet.org/muttstrut.
Crescenta Valley Park is located at 3901 Dunsmore Ave.