By Amanda Hatfield
TITUSVILLE -- Bring "Fido" out for an event that promises a wagging good time next month, all to help animals in need.
On Saturday, April 6, the SPCA of North Brevard will host its fourth annual Happy Tails Dog Stroll-A-Thon at Sand Point Park in Titusville. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10 a.m.
"The Happy Tails Dog Stroll-A-Thon evolved from a social event that we called 'Bark in the Park,' to what it is today -- a true fundraising event," said Susan Naylor, media specialist for the SPCA of North Brevard.
Nancy Eberlin, SPCA of North Brevard board president, and public relations director, Teri Scott, visited Paws in the Park, an event held by the Central Florida SPCA, in hopes of coming up with a new fundraiser within the community.
"They thought it was a great way to incorporate the social aspect of our Bark in the Park event with an enjoyable 'walk-a-thon'-style fundraiser," Mrs. Naylor added.
Now in its fourth year of operation, the SPCA of North Brevard is coming up with new, exciting ways for the community to participate.
Last year was the first year "packs" -- or teams of individuals -- were created to combine efforts to "supercharge" fundraising abilities. Mrs. Naylor said the SPCA of North Brevard was pleasantly surprised by the success and friendly competition between the "packs".
"New this year is the option for both individuals and 'packs' to create their own 'FUNdraising' websites," Mrs. Naylor said. "They can be shared through social media, like Facebook and Twitter."
Social media compatibility, Mrs. Naylor hopes, will help the individuals and packs raise even more money; all proceeds will help the shelter, as well as help participants earn incentives.
"This year's competition between the 'packs' is already heating up, and it looks like it will be a tight race to find out who will be announced the 2013 Pack of the Year," Mrs. Naylor added.
In its previous years, proceeds from the Stroll-A-Thon went to the purchase of the building that houses the SPCA of North Brevard's adoptable cats, as well as administrative offices.
"We are, again, needing to expand, so all proceeds from the event are placed into our long-term savings account for a new facility, which we hope to obtain within the next 10 years," Mrs. Naylor said.
The fourth annual Happy Tails Dog Stroll-A-Thon will also include a vendor village, including food trucks, a mobile pet groomer and much more.
"The SPCA clinic will have a booth where they will be drawing for free giveaways, like Frontline Tritak, every 15 minutes throughout the day," Mrs. Naylor added.
There will also be various demonstrations from local animal experts, as well as a doggie fun-zone, and the crowd-pleasing multi-dimensional fun and run course.
Following the Stroll-A-Thon, an after-party will be held at Crackerjacks Tiki Bar & Grill at the Maxwell Brewer Bridge. Mrs. Naylor said that Vila Fi will provide musical entertainment.
"The Happy Tails Dog Stroll-A-Thon is great event for families and four-legged friends, alike," Mrs. Naylor said. "And it helps out a great cause."
The Happy Tails Dog Stroll-A-Thon is Saturday, April 6 at Sand Point Park in Titusville. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10 a.m.
Volunteers are still needed. To submit an application online, visit www.spcanorthbrevard.com and click on the Volunteer tab, or contact Kris Dickey at (321) 362-0565.
Registration is still open online at www.spcanorthbrevard.com and fundraising websites can be set up for participants. Registration brochures are also available at the SPCA adoption centers.
All pledges/donations collected in person should be brought with participants to the event during registration from 9-10 a.m. on April 6.
The SPCA of North Brevard is located at 455 Cheney Highway in Titusville, (321) 501-7696.