Palmetto, FL – This year, the annual Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon is getting bigger and better by unleashing the traditional event, taking it to the streets and all 50 states with National Walkathon Day. Participants are invited to walk throughout neighborhoods, host a bake sale, run a dog washing event, or any other experience to help share Southeastern Guide Dogs’ mission through the power of social media. National Walkathon Day takes place on May 1, and everyone is encouraged to participate in their own way. Register now by visiting GuideDogs.org/walkathon.
Sponsored by Progressive Insurance, National Walkathon Day is designed to raise funds and awareness for Southeastern Guide Dogs. Every dollar raised helps the organization match guide dogs with visually impaired individuals and service dogs with veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other disabilities.
“This year, we wanted to make our traditional Walkathon event even more impactful by reaching more people and using social media,” said Jennifer Bryan, Director of Philanthropy for Southeastern Guide Dogs. “Walkathon makes a difference every year, and by taking it to all 50 states, we’re hoping to raise more awareness, more funds and change more lives than ever before.”
Those creating a team and raising funds for Southeastern Guide Dogs can receive exciting items such as milestone t-shirts, tumblers, exclusive Top Dog t-shirts, and puppy naming sponsorships or student scholarships. And, of course, each dog gets a free bandana featuring the Walkathon logo.
The first Walkathon was held in 1987 at the Manatee County Fairgrounds. About 50 volunteers and supporters attended and raised over $15,000 on behalf of the guide and service dogs. In 2016, Southeastern Guide Dogs aimed high, intending to raise $1 million. That goal was achieved and has been exceeded every year since. This year is no different. But, in addition to a goal of raising $1 million dollars, Southeastern Guide Dogs is also aiming to have partakers in every single state.
Participants are encouraged to spread the word on social media leading up to the event. Be sure to use the following hashtags when posting photos and videos to Facebook or Instagram:
To learn more about National Walkathon Day, watch the informational video here. For more information on Southeastern Guide Dogs, visit GuideDogs.org.
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About Southeastern Guide Dogs
Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. Our organization operates the most advanced training facilities of any service dog organization in the world. Our experts breed, raise, and train elite working dogs—including guide dogs, service dogs, and skilled companion dogs—and provide life-changing services for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities, and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military. Pursuing our mission since 1982, Southeastern Guide Dogs now has over 1,200 dogs under our auspices.
All of our services—which include state-of-the-art research on canine health and development; selective breeding; expert dog training; comprehensive on-campus student instruction; and the most robust alumni support program in North America—are provided at no cost to recipients. We rely 100% on private donations. Southeastern Guide Dogs has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier, global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. Learn more at www.GuideDogs.org.