South Elgin run helps seniors get pet food

  • This is Bones, Roger and Mary Lou Baldwin's dog, who gets fed thanks to the pet food program funded by RunFurShelter through the Salvation Army Golden Diners.

    This is Bones, Roger and Mary Lou Baldwin's dog, who gets fed thanks to the pet food program funded by RunFurShelter through the Salvation Army Golden Diners. Courtesy of Catie Scott Studio

  • Glen Hall of Elgin says his dog Eddy is fed through the Salvation Army Golden Diners program, which is funded by RunFurShelter in South Elgin.

    Glen Hall of Elgin says his dog Eddy is fed through the Salvation Army Golden Diners program, which is funded by RunFurShelter in South Elgin. Courtesy of Catie Scott Studio

 
 
Updated 4/21/2016 8:22 AM

Mary Lou and Roger Baldwin of Elgin get a 20-pound bag of dry dog food, a three-pound bag of dry cat food and up to three cases of canned cat food every three months -- all for free.

That's thanks to the Salvation Army Golden Diners pet food program, which is funded by the annual RunFurShelter 5K and 10K event in South Elgin. The pet food program is available to seniors enrolled in the Golden Diners meal delivery program.

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"It really eases tremendously our budget, not having to go out and buy the cat food and the dog food, because that stuff can get kind of expensive," Mary Lou Baldwin said. "They get well fed and they have good nourishment."

RunFurShelter will host its sixth annual event May 22 featuring the 5K walk/run, a 10K run, and a kids' 100-meter sprint.

RunFurShelter founder Nancy Meaney said the organization has raised nearly $100,000 over the years to benefit causes including a local animal shelter and local pet rescue organizations.

The Golden Diners pet food program became its sole beneficiary three years ago after Meaney read a news article about a Golden Diners client who shared her food with her cat, she said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Baldwin said some seniors share their own food with their pets because they can't afford any extras.

"If you have a pet and you're a little old lady or a little old man, this might be your only companion because you're not able to go out into the community or interact with people the way you did five or 10 years ago," she said. "This program really helps to allow people to keep the animals and not have to give them up or put them down."

RunFurShelter registration is through May 17 at runfurshelter.org and active.com; fees are $35 for the 5K and 10K, $20 for the 5K for elementary schoolchildren, and $5 for the 100 meter sprint. The fees include a race day T-shirt, except for those in the 100-meter sprint.

RunFurShelter hosts its first bowling fundraiser Aug. 7 at Elgin Lanes, Meaney said. Tickets are $20. Proceeds will pay for veterinarians to visit seniors' homes and administer shots and well-being checks to their pets.

Anyone interested in volunteering or sponsoring RunFurShelter events can contact Meaney at meaneytraining@aol.com or (224) 558-9080.

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