Dog walk to raise awareness of and money for Alzheimer’s

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NW0819 DogWalk
Hillview Home Services is helping raise awareness and funding for the Alzheimer’s Association by hosting its first-ever dog walk and pageant Aug. 29 at the Elizabethton High School track.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. and feature vendors and activities for dogs and their humans. Admission is a suggested donation of $5, but gift incentives will be provided for those who donate more.
Organizers hope to raise at least $2,000, and a check with the total proceeds will be presented at 2 p.m. to January Tankersley, marketing director and event coordinator of the Alzheimer’s Association of East Tennessee.
A dog pageant will begin at noon for all dogs registered by 11:45 a.m. There will be three categories: Beauty, Congeniality and Best Legs. Owners are encouraged to write brief bios for their dogs.
The owner of the overall beauty winner will receive two tickets to Dollywood based on the dog’s outfit, appearance and performance. Winner of the Congeniality category will get a gift basket from Natural Pet Supply, and Best Legs winner will get a $20 off certificate to Doggie Divas Pet Salon.
Event organizer and Hillview Home Community Based Services Director Chelsey Kirkland hopes the event will shed light on the mental health benefits of having pets in the homes of Alzheimer’s patients.
“Pets really, really help people that we service,” she said.
She said that many recent studies show that having pets really assists people with dimmensia and Alzheimers. During a recent home visit, one of her clients did not know his own birthday, social security number or his son’s name, but was eager to introduce his dog, of whom he was very fond.
Event organizers want to provide the resources and information necessary to get pets in the homes of clients and local elderly to whom a pet could provide comfort and assistance.
“We want to have a day for dogs to enjoy, but also for people to walk away with the knowledge that maybe they should get a pet, especially the elderly, because they really do help,” said Kirkland.
East Tennessee Spay and Neuter will be present to register low-income pet owners to receive free pet food and spay and neuter vouchers.
Other vendors include Grooming Tails Pet Spa, providing free nail clipping, and the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter, which will bring pets for adoption. Art Elegance will offer pet portraits for a fee. Bags will be distributed by HHS for those in attendance to collect giveaway items like collapseable dog bowls and bandanas.
ETSU College of Medicine will offer free blood pressure and diabetes tests.
Drinks, hot dogs, cotton candy and popcorn will available for $1 each.
HHS, a branch of HCBS, serves 110 clients with three programs. It is the only provider of hot lunches and dinners seven days a week to citizens of Carter and Washington Counties. Its non-medical home services assist clients with grocery shopping, personal hygeine, bathing and meal preparation. The third facet of its home services division is an adult day care program which allows seniors to enjoy music, arts and crafts, socialization, games and meals together.
Additional sponsors of the event include Northeast Community Credit Union, Amedisys, Food City, Primp-n-Tease Hair Salon and Edward Jones Investor Thomas A. Davis.
For more information, contact Chelsey Kirkland at (423) 542-0417.

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