Rotary Clubs’s ‘Dog Day’ promises family fun for a good cause

The Rotary Club of Fort Erie is preparing for its biggest fundraiser ever and its gone to the dogs.

Scheduled for Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Stevensville Conservation Area (2555 Ott Rd.), “Dog Day Afternoon” promises a fun-filled day for the whole family, all for a good cause.

“It’s the largest event that Rotary Fort Erie has ever put on,” said Scott Broda, the club’s secretary.

Broda is expecting hundreds of attendees at the event.

“We’re a very small club,” he said. “We’re only 14 members.”

The event boasts a wide variety of dog-centric activities, including demonstrations by a dog psychic, a dog CPR specialist, and a detection dog specializing in finding illegal paraphernalia.

The Niagara Regional Police K-9 unit will also be showcasing their skills. Dog lovers can learn about grooming from professionals, watch a retriever in action, or capture the perfect picture with their furry friend thanks to on-site dog photographers.

Local animal shelters, the Niagara Dog Rescue, and the Fort Erie SPCA will be present to share information about their work and potentially find some loving homes for adoptable dogs.

Fun isn’t limited to canine companions. Kids can enjoy a dedicated zone sponsored by Home Depot, complete with face painting and a clown. For the parents, over 43 vendors are expected to set up shop, offering a variety of products and treats.

There will be free hot dogs available by donation, and The Smokin’ Buddha food truck will be on the scene offering its menu which includes vegan options.

Adding a touch of lighthearted competition, the event will feature a contest for the dog that looks most like its human, with Mayor Wayne Redekop confirmed as one of the judges.

Proceeds from the event will directly benefit the Rotary Club.

“All of the funds are going back into our club’s activities,” Broda said. “Ninety per cent of it goes back into the community, back into local charities. We always sponsor six to eight minor baseball teams.”

The remaining funds support international causes such as the fight against polio.

The Rotary Club is still looking for help and donations for their penny sale and silent auction. “We’re always looking for volunteers,” said Broda.

Broda can be reached at (905) 324-0556 for anyone interested in lending a hand. Local businesses are encouraged to donate items, large or small, for the auctions. Cash donations are also welcome.

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