The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Ta­mara Wolk Cor­re­spon­dent

The Fort Oglethorpe Bark City Dog Park Com­mit­tee and North Ge­or­gia An­i­mal Al­liance held a joint fall fes­ti­val and dog pa­rade and cos­tume con­test — Howl-o-ween — on Satur­day, Oct. 27, and they plan to do it again next year.

Sev­en­teen lo­cal dogs strut­ted their stuff on the North­west Geor- gia Am­phithe­ater grounds, most of them dressed for the oc­ca­sion as ev­ery­thing from pump­kins to Eey­ore, bats, mum­mies and fairies.

Prizes were awarded for sev­eral cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing dog/owner look-alike and most orig­i­nal and fun­ni­est cos­tumes.

The event also fea­tured sev­eral cake walks, craft and food ven­dors, a fire truck from the Fort Oglethorpe Fire Depart­ment and games and treats. David Betty, Fort Oglethorpe Coun­cil­woman Rhonda James’ hus­band, wan­dered the grounds dressed as a friendly dog, greet­ing guests and adding to the fes­tive at­mos­phere, and NGAA vol­un­teer Danielle Townsend played the part of a fairy cat, do­ing live Face­book feeds.

The pur­pose of Howl-o-ween was mul­ti­fac­eted.

NGAA pres­i­dent Jil­lian Alexan­der-hol­lis and vol­un­teer Dave Mayo ap­peared on “Good Morn­ing Chat­tanooga” the morn­ing of the event to let peo­ple know about it and to show a dog the group has been try­ing to find a home for. Kylie, a minia­ture pin­scher who wowed view­ers with her cute­ness, was adopted later in the day at Howl-o-ween by a cou­ple who had seen her on the pro­gram and drove from Oolte­wah to make her a part of their fam­ily.

The Walker County An­i­mal Shel­ter also brought some dogs to the event, in­clud­ing Marco, dressed as a pump­kin. Marco is avail­able for adop­tion (as of this writ­ing) at the Walker County An­i­mal Shel­ter.

Howl-o-ween was also a fundraiser for both NGAA and the Bark City com­mit­tee. NGAA is an an­i­mal res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion and the Bark City com­mit­tee is rais­ing funds to build a dog park in Fort Oglethorpe. The lo­ca­tion for the dog park has al­ready been se­cured and con­struc­tion is un­der­way. Next year’s Howl-oWeen is slated to take place at the new park.

Howl-o-ween was truly a joint ven­ture, says Fort Oglethorpe City Man­ager Jen­nifer Simp­kins, who also sits on the dog park com­mit­tee. Do­na­tions of food, bev­er­ages, candy, baked goods for the cake walk, gift cards and other items were made by Fort Oglethorpe Wendy’s, Fort Oglethorpe Pub- lix, Fort Oglethorpe Food City, Ring­gold In­gles, Coca Cola, Fort Oglethorpe Papa John’s Pizza, Fort Oglethorpe Wal­mart, MEDSTAT of Fort Oglethorpe, and Fort Oglethorpe Mayor Earl Gray.

Ca­toosa County Parks and Recre­ation of­fered the use of the North­west Ge­or­gia Am­phithe­ater grounds at no cost. Greg Jack­son and his son Evan served as em­cees for the event. Ca­toosa Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent-elect Amy Jack­son, Fort Oglethorpe City Coun­cil­woman Rhonda James and NGAA vol­un­teer Lara Cooper served as judges for the cos­tume con­test.

When the event was over, an NGAA vol­un­teer took baked goods and other food that re­mained to the Chat­tanooga Food Bank to share with those in need.

“We were pleased with how ev­ery­thing turned out,” says NGAA vice-pres­i­dent and Fort O dog park com­mit­tee mem­ber Va­lerie Hayes. “... We all had a lot of fun and learned a lot, too. And Kylie found a home.”

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