Walk for Dog Guides hits new fundraising highs

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

The Fourth Annual Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides was the most successful yet as it raised $2,600 along the Rotary Trail on Sunday.
This was a slight increase over the $2,500.75 raised in 2023.
The annual walk raises funds to help Lions Foundation of Canada continue to provide Dog Guides for Canadians with disabilities at no cost to them. Prince Albert Lions Club President
Garry Beaudry said the club also treats it as their major fundraiser before summer.
“The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is our biggest fundraiser throughout the year. It helps us with our everyday operations,” Beaudry said. “It costs $35,000 to raise and train a dog and pair it with a with a client and so this is one way that ensures that we can continue doing
The Foundation has set a goal of $1.6 million for this year and online donations were just shy of $700,000 by Sunday.
“We’re hoping that we can hit our goal,” Beaudry said,
There were close to 20 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.
“It’s starting to grow,” Beaudry said. “It’s getting bigger.”
The walk started at 15th Avenue and River Street. Participants could go as far as the Elks Club or turn around if they wanted. Participants who went the full distance walked four kilometers 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.
He said providing dog guides to residents in need is very important to Lions Clubs across the province.
Dogs can do more than help guide residents with low or no vision. They can also be trained
as alert dogs for people 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.
The local Pet Valu was on hand to support the event with dog treats for the walkers and a draw. Because they are the national sponsor, the event is called the Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides in support of the Lions Dog Guides.
“They have supported us to no end, and even besides the walk, they support our (training) school, our dogs, they give us food for all our puppies and everything else, Beaudry said.
“They try to help as many of our fosters or clients as they can in the country.
“We’ve got stores that don’t have a Lions Club in their area. The stores are putting on walks, so Pet Valu is a super sponsor,” he added.
Beaudry said the event couldn’t have been a success without the sponsors. Because of the
local business donations such as Harold’s Fine Foods for the barbecue that followed, there was no cost to the Lions Club.
Beaudry hopes to see the event continue to grow.
“Hopefully next year we will be bigger and better yet,” he said. “We’re going to strive for more next year. We may even have a bouncy castle down here for kids. It’s slowly growing but I would like to see more.”