ELMIRA SIB­LINGS SHOW THEIR TENNIS PROW­ESS

WMC pool plays host to four-legged swim­mers for dog park fundraiser

The Woolwich Observer - - FRONT PAGE - ALI WIL­SON

THE DOG PAD­DLE ISN’T an un­com­mon sight at the WMC pool, but it’s not usu­ally the real thing. That’s ex­actly what went on last Fri­day, how­ever, as the Woofwich dog park com­mit­tee played host to some four-legged swim­mers.

The third annual Dog­gie Pad­dle event saw some 50 par­tic­i­pants take to the wa­ter.

Small dogs and pup­pies took their turn in the pool first, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with all dogs en­joy­ing the cool pool wa­ter from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

“We drain our pool each year any­ways for pre­ven­ta­tive main­te­nance, so the rest of the year we can run as per nor­mal and it was just a re­ally good op­por­tu­nity to take ad­van­tage of the wa­ter that is al­ready sit­ting there. This is our third year,” said Michelle Hil­born, pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor at the Wool­wich Memo­rial Cen­tre.

Last year’s event saw 20 swim­mers, and the year be­fore had around 30.

In ad­di­tion to the evening swim, par­tic­i­pants took home grab bags full of lo­cally do­nated prod­ucts.

“We have so much awe­some sup­port in the com­mu­nity be­cause these are all lo­cal,” she said. “It is re­ally fan­tas­tic to feel that sup­port and it shows us what we are work­ing to­wards is hope­fully go­ing to ben­e­fit the whole com­mu­nity – by hav­ing safe spa­ces for dogs.”

The Woofwich dog park com­mitte is the group be­hind the re­cently opened un­fenced, off-leash dog park in St. Jacobs.

How­ever, with that fin­ished the group does have one new fundrais­ing ef­fort on the docket – a fenced-in dog park in Elmira.

“Now we are fundrais­ing for a new lo­ca­tion. It is still un­de­cided – we are re­ally hop­ing for Elmira, and that is what the com­mit­tee is hop­ing for too. We are in our plan­ning stages and noth­ing is set in stone yet, but fundrais­ing is def­i­nitely the next big step on what we are go­ing to be work­ing on for the next year,” she said. “For the park es­ti­mate, we are look­ing at about $40,000 for that much fenc­ing.”

The pro­posed lot size is about an acre, she added. “So we have got a lot of work ahead of us.”

Hil­born said their goal is to work with some groups and busi­nesses to aid in the cost of fenc­ing.

“We have struc­tured out some price points and then we are hop­ing to get some com­mu­nity sup­port as well, so like ‘Buy a Foot of Fence’ is kind of what we are hop­ing for to get the last bit there,” she ex­plained.

Less ex­penses, the 51 dog­gie pad­dle par­tic­i­pants brought in a to­tal of $516 to go to­wards the Elmira lo­ca­tion.

“We were thrilled. A big por­tion will go to­wards the next project,” she said.

[ALI WIL­SON / THE OB­SERVER]

The annual dog­gie pad­dle fundraiser at the WMC last Fri­day saw some 50 furry friends out to en­joy the pool be­fore the town­ship drains it for main­te­nance.

The group raised just over $500 to go to­wards their next project, as or­ga­niz­ers aim for a dog park in Elmira.

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