Winter Park locals and patrons can expect to see lots of wagging tails this Saturday, April 17, as pups and their owners attend DogFest Orlando 2021 in Central Park. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in support of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a non-profit organization working to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained service dogs free of charge.
Funds raised from the event will go toward the cost of raising and training service dogs and providing ongoing support to the human-canine team, a cost of about $50,000 per match according the CCI website. Through the help of volunteers, sponsors, and donations, CCI has been able to place over 6,600 service dogs, however, the non-profit still has more than 400 people with disabilities waiting for a match. The fundraising goal for the event is $95,000 and the organization has already collected over $70,000 in donations.
Patrons can register online free of charge to attend the event, which will feature vendors, dog activities such as agility courses and dog shows, and demonstrations from service and working dogs. Donations are accepted online as well. A virtual option is also available for those who prefer to participate remotely by engaging in a daily fitness challenge. Registration for the virtual challenge is $25.
Visit the Canine Companions for Independence website for more information about the organization including opportunities to support its mission.