Do you love dogs? Love the beach? Love supporting pets in need?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, The Beach Bark is the event for you.
The Beach Bark was founded by the late Kip Ward and his wife, Katrica Hansen, in 2010. In October of that year, throngs of dog lovers paid $25 and purchased black Beach Bark T-shirts and set out from the D River Wayside in Lincoln City, leashes in hand. The walkers and their dogs walked about two miles on level sand to the SW 51st St. Turnaround in Taft (near Mo’s restaurant) where fresh-grilled cheeseburgers awaited their arrival.
All the proceeds from the event were contributed to The Beach Bark Fund, which pays for veterinary care for local pets in need. If a stray dog is struck by a car in Lincoln City, or a pet needs emergency care the owners simply can’t afford, the Beach Bark Fund covers the cost for the veterinarian.
Since then, The Beach Bark has held shorter walks, as well as fundraising dinners. This year marks the eighth anniversary of the inaugural Beach Bark, and organizers are celebrating by repeating the original walk.
“We wanted to do the full Beach Bark walk this year,” said Gretchen Ammerman, one of the volunteers behind the event. “Earlier this year, the community lost one of its shining stars with the passing of Kip Ward. This year’s Beach Bark is dedicated to his memory, and his name appears on this year’s T-shirts.”
Only a limited number of shirts have been printed, so pre-ordering is recommended. If any shirts remain, they will be available for sale ($25, including lunch) on the day of the event, Saturday, Oct. 13, at the D River Wayside, between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
The Beach Bark dog walk begins at 10 a.m. at the D River Wayside. There will be a dog watering station available at the SW 33rd Street (Nelscott) beach access.
The $25 charge includes a meal at the SW 51st St. turnaround in Taft. Anyone can also purchase a cheeseburger meal on site for $5, with additional donations welcomed. There will also be raffle tickets for various prizes at the barbecue.
Lunch will be served from 11 am to 1 p.m. at the covered shelter at the far west end of SW 51st Street, at the turnaround.
Anyone is free to join the walk without paying the $25, but they will not receive a T-shirt or lunch. Some Beach Bark participants may not want to embark on a two-mile beach walk (four miles round-trip), and are welcome to pick up their shirt at the D River between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and then drive to Taft for the barbecue. Other beach walkers may choose to start at different beach accesses to yield a shorter walk, such as the SW 33rd Street access or the Canyons Beach Access, or to arrange transportation to be picked up in Taft and driven back to their vehicles.
Learn more about The Beach Bark at facebook.com/TheBeachBark.