Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue is hosting a free, family-friendly event where people can bring their dogs and enjoy a day of picnic fun and frolic. Dog lovers will enjoy friendship, camaraderie, lawn games and good family time together at the rescue's "First Annual Heart of Niagara Summer Picnic" Saturday, July 12 (rain or shine), from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Oppenheim Park (pavilion No. 22; far left corner of the park), 2713 Niagara Falls Blvd., Wheatfield.
The animal rescue has invited adoptive families and the public to bring their dog-friendly dogs on a leash to join in the "Heart of Niagara Pooch Parade/Dog Walk," sponsored by Blackwinds Pet Supplies, from 11 a.m. until noon. The parade will be followed by a full formal barbecue and catering lunch from noon to 3 p.m. ($12 a person), live calypso and steel drum music with limbo and audience participation songs by Tropical Explosion Steel Drum Band, and grooming area with nail-clipping services provided by Debbie's Dog House and Pet Palace and Dee's Dog House for a donation to the rescue.
Visitors can take advantage of perks such as free hot pink and black Heart of Niagara dog bandannas (first 200 dogs in the parade), courtesy of Stuart Sports; prizes, including Perry's Ice Cream coupons to the owner/dog game and contest winners; a dance contest; a hot dog eating contest; an egg and spoon race; an obedience game, which is like a dog's version of "Simon Says; and pet photography portraits be provided by Wild Eye Mobile Pet Photography.
A basket auction features a number of "stay-cation" prizes, including passes to a Buffalo Bisons baseball game, the Corning Museum of Glass, Genesee Country Museum, Grand Island Fun Center, Lockport Locks and Canal Cruises, Martin's Fantasy Island, Ransomville Speedway and others.
Colton RV, the event's presenting sponsor, is providing the use of two RVs for shade and space for HON adoption information, barbecue and raffle ticket sales, and cold bottled water.
The list of local and regional businesses lending support include Brett's Tent and Awning, Bring Fido.com, Chéri Amour, Como Restaurant by The Airport, Corning Museum of Glass, The Buffalo News, ECO Recycling Centers, Entercom Buffalo Radio, Genesee Country Museum and Village, Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Niagara Falls, Kimmons Coffee Service, Lewiston Music, Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises, Mark Cerrone Inc., Metro Source - The Sun Newspaper, Niagara Frontier Publications/www.wnypapers.com, Oh My Dog Daycare and Grooming, Pets A to Z.org, WGRZ-TV and WHTT-FM.
Lunch tickets can be purchased through PayPal online at www.heartofniagara.com, by mail with check payable to Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue and mailed to Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue, PO Box 462, Lewiston, NY 14092, or purchased on day of the event (if available).
The event will raise necessary funds for the continuation of Heart of Niagara's work of saving animals. A portion of the proceeds will go toward HON purchasing its own building. A central location will expedite the adoption process by providing a place for the public to view animals, train staff and volunteers, and provide dog behavioral training and volunteer meetings.
Heart of Niagara is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit companion animal rescue organization based in Niagara County. Its mission is to protect the health and welfare of abandoned, unwanted and homeless animals. For more information on Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue and adoption, call 716-345-7129. For tickets, donations and sponsorships, call Linda van Harssel at 716-622-1213.