Boy­er­town/Oley Val­ley Bark For Life set for Oct. 2

The Southern Berks News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Har­ri­son Otto hotto@berk­smon­

Can­cer sur­vivors Bob Olock and his wife Ruthanne dis­cuss the heal­ing power of dogs

For those af­fected by can­cer, it is friends and fam­ily that come to­gether to help them fight the long and in­ten­sive strug­gle — push­ing through daily hard­ship to stay strong while their loved one bat­tles a deadly dis­ease. But what about the dogs? Sur­vivors Bob Olock and his wife Ruthanne re­al­ized the im­por­tance of dogs in the fight against can­cer, and re­sponded by start­ing a lo­cal Bark For Life event to honor these four legged heroes.

The 4th an­nual Bark for Life is to be held Satur­day, Oct. 2, at the Oley Fair­grounds.

“Peo­ple with can­cer need strong pas­sion­ate peo­ple to be with them” said Ruthanne, “The treat­ments are im­por­tant, but it’s still im­por­tant to have the com­pas­sion and the care. And who gives youmore of that than a dog?”

Bob Olock has been in­volved with the Re­lay for A lo­cal fam­ily poses with their dog at last year’s Boy­er­town/Oley Val­ley Bark For Life.

Life for 11 years. While he and his wife are both lov­ing dog own­ers, it wasn’t un­til only four years ago that Bob started the Boy­er­town/Oley Val­ley Bark For Life.

“I was a vol­un­teer with the Pottstown Bark For Life for awhile,” he said, “So, I thought we could start one here in Boy­er­town.”

The Bark For Life, sim­i­lar to the Re­lay For Life, is a com­mu­nity event with var­i­ous games, raf­fles, food, and live mu­sic.

Boy­er­town busi­nesses such as Sweet Be­gin­nings, Sim­ply Sherry’s Bak­ery, and Harry’s Tat­too par­lor will also be at­tend­ing.

The only dif­fer­ence? Peo-

ple sign up their dogs to raise money for the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety.

Some of the ca­nine ameni­ties will in­clude dog groom­ing, a dog photo booth where guests can take pic­tures with their pooch, and also the an­nual pet cos­tume con­test.

In ad­di­tion, Dr. Patt’s vet­eri­nar­ian hos­pi­tal of Gil­bertsville will be on site to of­fer pet care and­mi­crochip­ping ser­vices.

Be­sides the ven­dors and en­ter­tain­ment, the Bark for Life is more than just a fundraiser — the dogs, the fam­i­lies, and the com­mu­nity are all there to not only help find a cure, but also to help and sup­port peo­ple who have ann Mem­bers of Boy­er­town Area Se­nior High’s In­ter­act Club vol­un­teered at the face paint­ing and games ta­ble at last year’s Bark for Life.

are cur­rently bat­tling can­cer.

“Peo­ple think about can­cer, and think that there’s surgery and there’s treat­ment, and that’s all there is to it. And that’s not all there is to it,” said Ruthanne, “I’ve seen peo­ple sit in a chair and wait for their treat­ment — and they look sad. If there’s some­one else there with them, you’ll be amazed to see the dif­fer­ence a few min­utes can make. Right away, you’ll see it in their eyes and their smile.”

Ruthanne her­self is a 34year can­cer sur­vivor and has also been bat­tling po­lio

since she was four. While she is a huge part of the Re­lay for Life, she be­lieves there is some­thing spe­cial about the dogs.

“When you at­tend one of these events, it’s amaz­ing,” she said, adding how the event “brings a lit­tle some­thing ex­tra. You’d be sur­prised how you meet peo­ple whose dog is a very big part of their fam­ily.

All pro­ceeds fromtheBark For Life will go di­rectly to the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety to help fund re­search for a cure. The money raised could also help dogs with can­cer, as


most re­search done for can­cer in hu­mans is ap­pli­ca­ble to can­cer in ca­nines.

Last year the Bark for Life raised be­tween $5000$6000 for the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety. This year, Bob hopes to hit $7,500 in do­na­tions. How­ever, to him and Ruthanne the money raised isn’t re­ally what’s im­por­tant.

“To me, the money is great, don’t get me wrong,” said Bob, “But it’s about peo­ple who are af­flicted with can­cer and their fam­i­lies com­ing to­gether for a day and hav­ing a blast.”

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