More than a dozen walkers took part in Sunday morning's Guide Dog Walk in Elliot Lake.
The annual event was staged from Pet Valu off Highway 108, the main corporate sponsor. Sponsored walkers set out along Highway 108 heading north on the sidewalk to the Ellliot Lake's Miner's Memorial on the shores of Horne Lake.
After a quick stop for water they reversed direction and headed south back to the point of origin.
One working dog was in this year's event, sponsored by the Elliot Lake Lions Club. The Dog Guide Sherry in the 2019 walk belonged to Mark Bois of Blind River. He suffers from diabetes and needs his dog guide to support him with his disability.
“We have to explain to people this is not just a dog walk, but rather a Walk for Dog Guides. You don’t need to have a dog to take part,” said Lions Club member Robert Kerr. "The walk itself raised a little over $5,000. Our local Pet Valu store gave tremendous support to our walk by holding a dog wash and bake sale in the store and will be donating these funds directly to the walk."
"There is so much going on in our little town that we feel fortunate that people decide to support our walk. With these walks across the country Lions Foundation are able to continue to supply Canadians with physical and medical disabilities with dog guides at no cost to them," Kerr said.
The Lions Club accepts no government assistance as it trains dogs to assist people dealing with six specific issues and conditions in their lives.
Dogs are trained in Oakville to assist people with vision impairment, those with physical or medical disabilities, those dealing with autism, people needing hearing ear dogs, those with seizure issues, along with diabetes alert guide dogs to assist diabetics. The approximate cost of training each dog is $25,000 or more, including the training the new owner receives. Aside from its generic training, each animal gets specific instruction to help it deal with the individual needs of each recipient.
Last year Elliot Lake walkers raised $4,000.
Lions Club volunteers greeted the walker's return with hot dogs, drinks and other refreshments served at Pet Valu. Donations are still being accepted to assist the Dog Guide Program. For more information you can visit the website at or call them at 1-800-768-3030.