Lions’ Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides raises $2,500

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides went down Rotary Trail on Sunday in Prince Albert.

The Third Annual Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides was the most successful yet as it raised $2,500.75 on Sunday along the Rotary Trail.

The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides raises funds to help Lions Foundation of Canada continue to provide Dog Guides for Canadians with disabilities at no cost to them, and support each pair in their journey together.

Prince Albert Lions Club President Garry Beaudry explained that the club also treats it as their major fundraiser before summer.

“Like everybody else, all our Lions clubs and our major donors and whatnot throughout the year all turn into cabin and lake goers during the summer. We still have our operations that need funding, so that’s why we have our major fundraiser at this time,” Beaudry said.

There were 10 people physically registered for the walk, but Beaudry had taken donations online from people who could not attend physically. Along with dogs in the walk, there was also one cat in a stroller who visited with dogs in the park during the registration.

The walk started at 15th Avenue and River Street and walkers could go as far as the Elks Club or walkers could turn around. Participants who went the full distance walked four kilometres before returning for hot dogs and hamburgers.

Beaudry isn’t just the President of the Prince Albert Lions Club but also the Saskatchewan representative on the board of directors for the Lions Foundation of Canada and will be traveling to Ontario in June for their next meeting.

Providing dog guides to residents in need is very important to Beaudry.

“It enables our clients to get out into the community and live a life that the rest of us all take for granted,” Beaudry said. “Can you imagine being a sight impaired person. Even when we walk down the street, because if you step off the curb, you don’t even know the curbs coming. (If) I step off (and) a vehicle is coming, you’ve got a dog by your side that’ll stop. The dog knows. The dog is paying attention to their surroundings.”
Another example of support is for people who are prone to seizures. Beaudry said they can’t go for a walk by themselves, but seizure-alert dogs are trained to get them help and stay with them if they have trouble.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides walkers posed for a photo before the walk began down Rotary Trail on Sunday.

“If the dog doesn’t get a response from the handler, he goes looking for help and he’ll bring it all back to the house,” Beaudry explained.

The local Pet Valu was on hand to support the event with dog treats for the walkers and a draw.

“Their support is national there’s probably 350 that are happening today, and Pet Valu is our major sponsor for all of them,” Beaudry said.

Because they are the national sponsor, the event is called the Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides in support of the Lions Dog Guides.

“The local support here by the Pet Valu store is super cool,” Beaudry said. “They’re setting up a table. They’re going to be handing out treats for the dogs and there’s also a basket that will be drawn for free.”

Beaudry explained that he had up to 40 donation forms out and initially wasn’t sure how many walkers he expected to register. The event is continuing to grow, however.

“Last year we had five, so every year (we are ) growing. This is our third year of attempting it here in P.A.,” Beaudry said.

The event raised significantly more than the $1,770 they raised in 2022. Before registration even began, they were at $1,400.

Beaudry said the event couldn’t have been a success without the sponsors. Because of the local business donations, the barbecue that followed, there was no cost to the Lions Club.

“(It’s) because of our local businesses, which is super,” Beaudry said. “I really want to thank them.”