TORONTO — This Saturday is the 4th Annual Smiling Blue Skies Walk to End Canine Cancer. The event, which has grown bigger every year, starts at 10:30 a.m., with the four kilometer walk beginning at noon at Kew Gardens in Toronto.
Smiling Blue Skies was founded by Suzi Beber after her Golden Retriever Blues Man, whom the event is named after, passed away from lymphoma in 2001. With cancer being a most common cause of death in dogs and with the startling statistic that over 60% of Golden Retrievers die of cancer, Beber created Smiling Blue Skies as a way to honor the memory of Blues Man and raise much needed funds for canine cancer research. Every single dollar raised through Smiling Blue Skies is donated to OVC Pet Trust to fund canine cancer research at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.
Walks are held annually in Guelph, Toronto, Holland Landing, Calgary and Victoria. This year they’ve also received proceeds from the Sashettes calendar, Woof-Fit Mini Triathlon and breed rally obedience trials. With 100% of the funds raised going to support OVC’s quest to find more and better ways to deal with and understand this terrible disease any donation, no matter the amount, most certainly goes to support a worthwhile cause.
There is no minimum donation required to participate in this weekend’s walk. So, if you live in Toronto, or the Greater Toronto Area, and would like to spend your morning walking your dog along Toronto’s boardwalk, be sure to check out the Smiling Blue Skies Facebook page for all details. Participating in charity walks, such as this one, are a wonderful way to both support a great cause, but also spend some quality time with your dog doing something you know they’ll love.
Each year the walk begins with the Blessing of the Animals, by Yogi Akal. It’s a moment where animals we love, and those we’ve lost, are honored and remembered.
If you’re unable to attend the event, but wish to donate, click here.
If you’d like to register as a walker/virtual walker and collect donations, click here.