The Animal Welfare Association will hold its annual Paws and Feet Doggie Fun Day and 5K walk and run on June 4 with a twist: Guests will be encouraged to hang around after the event and experience activities at Voorhees Town Center.
The walk and race to benefit the township shelter was put on hold for two years during the peak of the pandemic, so the facility has incorporated a new slogan to encourage the town center visits: “Come! Play! Stay!”
Marian Coincella, AWA’s development manager, expects a huge turnout for the walk and run, both financially and from the community. It is AWA’s biggest fundraiser of the year and has a fundraising goal of $60,000 for 2022.
“We have been doing this event for over 25 years and this is really meant to be a celebration of people who have adopted from us, use our pet clinic service, experience anything from AWA, and just pet lovers in the community,” said Coincella, who encourages community members of all ages to attend.
“Starting with the 5K run and walk … we have older people [who can’t run] but are fans of the entire day [and want to participate],” she added. “The majority of the money raised on this day comes from [participants] in the 5K …
“There’s just a great energy.”
AWA operates the oldest and largest neuter clinic, adoption center and no-kill animal shelter in South Jersey. Since it does not receive funds from the government or a national group, the selter’s existence depends on local donations. On average, every $1,000 raised saves the life of one shelter dog.
“By looking at what we have done in the past, being really realistic for a goal, that’s how we came to that number,” said Coincella. “The 5K is the biggest part of it, but we have [some] local sponsors contributing to the event.”
AWA has dozens of other activities planned for the event, especially kids, including corn hole, face painting, a basket raffle and a live DJ. There will also be a pet-oriented fun zone with a Barktini™ Bar full of doggie beverages, a Doggie Agility Course and Pool Party and a Barktini, among other attractions.
Walk/run participants will pay a $35 pre-race signup fee, with $40 for same-day registration . The AWA is also accepting vendor applications and corporate sponsorships.
The event kicks off at 9 a.m., but participants can register as early as 7:30. There will also be a Smile Mile one-mile loop around the town center for those who want a short walk with their pet.