By Marissa GOULD, CVW Intern
Crescenta Valley Park was home of the California Council of the Blind’s Mutt Strut, a 2K/5K run/walk that took place on Saturday. The Crescenta Valley event was one of three held in the state with San Francisco and Sacramento holding events as well.
The local Mutt Strut was organized by Ken Metz from the council. Check-in was at 8 a.m. and Metz welcomed dozens of people – and dozens of dogs – to the Mutt Strut. Assisting Metz were about 120 volunteers from various organizations including CVHS’ Prom Plus, Pasadena High School’s Leo’s Club, puppy raisers who specialize in training guide dogs and others who provided support.
Donna Pomerantz, the president of the California Council of the Blind, was on hand to send the participants off on their run/walk. Pomerantz praised the L.A. County Parks Dept. for allowing the Mutt Strut to take place. She was particularly pleased that so many people took part in the inaugural CV event.
“The La Crescenta community is so supportive,” said Pomerantz adding that the Mutt Strut was a “great event that welcomes all kinds of dogs.”
This is the California Council for the Blind’s major fundraiser for the year. Last year it raised $10,000 to help the blind and visually impaired in California and organizers are hoping proceeds will double this year.
At 9 a.m., the runners and walkers crowded the starting line. The 80-degree heat didn’t faze some dedicated runners who quickly outdistanced the walkers. Volunteers helped blind participants by lining the track and, as the participants would pass by, they would ask if they needed help or just shout out encouragement. Two volunteers handed out water to thirsty people and their dogs. Finally, after every person and dog had crossed the finish line, they had their photo taken to commemorate their run/walk. Every participant received a gift bag with a little balloon animal and goodies for their pets.
According to Pomerantz, the community’s response to the event was positive and she’s confident that another Mutt Strut will take place in Crescenta Valley next year.
“I think we’ve found a home,” she said.