Barkapalooza promises pets and owners a fun-filled day in the park
The West Suburban Humane Society (WSHS) is thrilled to host the 28th annual Barkapalooza Dog Walk and Pet Expo in person on Sunday, Sept. 26, at Lisle Community Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. After so many months of canceled, postponed and virtual events, WSHS is delighted that animal lovers can once again gather to celebrate the joys of pet ownerships.
The event kicks off with a pet blessing and dog walk. From there, attendees can meet and learn about 15 other local rescue groups, browse dozens of vendor booths featuring local businesses that offer pet-related products and services, and enjoy delectable creations available through food trucks and Barkapalooza's annual bake sale. Attendees can participate in numerous raffles and other games with prizes throughout the day as well as watch or participate in lure-coursing and agility activities. Of course, Barkapalooza participants are welcome to bring dogs who love crowds, especially if their pooch is a WSHS alum. WSHS is thrilled to bring everyone together again and is taking all necessary precautions to make WSHS a COVID-safe event.
"We will take steps to ensure that everyone feels safe to attend this fun event. We typically have 400 to 500 attendees, but our event is outdoors and spread throughout a large portion of Lisle Community Park, so there is plenty of space for everyone," said Christina Morrison, development director for the West Suburban Humane Society.
In addition to providing a great day of entertainment for both owners and their pets, WSHS hopes to raise $100,000 during the event to support caring for their dogs and cats. As WSHS' largest fundraiser of the year, proceeds from Barkapalooza account for about 10 percent of the humane society's animal income.
Volunteer to fundraise!
To help support WSHS, supporters and attendees are encouraged to create a fundraising page and ask friends and family to donate to the event. In addition, the $20 entrance fee to Barkapalooza will be waived for fundraisers who help raise $100 or more.
"Fundraisers can also earn prizes for raising funds for Barkapalooza and we are very excited to have a donation-matching grant from our Board members," said Morrison.
Hitting a $100,000 fundraising goal is no easy feat, and WSHS is humbled by the generous support they receive from local entities such as Gerald Subaru of Naperville, one of Barkapalooza's largest sponsors. Their contributions help pay for the cost of the event so that donations from attendees can directly support WSHS' care for their dogs and cats.
In addition to sponsorship, the dealership always brings one of the latest Subaru models to demonstrate its pet-friendly interiors and safety features while providing attendees with pet-related swag they enjoy every year. Morrison said Gerald Subaru of Naperville's continued support of WSHS allowed them to continue their important work during the pandemic and emerge from the crisis stronger than ever.
"Animals have always held a special place in our hearts at Gerald Subaru of Naperville. As an unprecedented number of pets were adopted during the pandemic, our commitment to organizations like the West Suburban Humane Society grew even stronger. We're thrilled to partner with an organization that helps pets find loving homes and support their owners after adoption through providing them with safe and pet-friendly vehicles," said Alec McKean, Vice President of the Gerald Auto Group.
For more information on Barkapalooza, visit www.wshs-dg.org.
For more information on Gerald Subaru of Naperville, visit www.geraldsubarunaperville.com.