Walk Your Dog On Riverwalk For A Good Cause

Southeastern Guide Dogs' annual walkathon kicks off in Bradenton on Saturday.

You can walk your dog in Bradenton for a good cause on Saturday.

The Southeastern Guide Dogs' biggest fundraiser of the year kicks off on Bradenton's Riverwalk in Rossi Park, 808 3rd Ave. West, on Saturday with the first of three walkathons in the area.

"What sets us apart from other walks is that you can bring your dog to walk," Jennifer Bement, spokeswoman for Southeastern Guide Dogs, told Patch. 

Though it may be too late to form a team, individual registration opportunities are still available for each of the walks. Registration costs $25, and you can pre-register online or register the day of the walk. (Online registration is closed for Bradenton.) You will receive a T-shirt plus a bandana for your dog with registration, too. 

The Bradenton walk registration opens at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and opening ceremonies begin at 9:45 a.m. The 3K walk starts at 10 a.m. while the  event wraps up around noon.

(View the parking maps for the Bradenton and St. Pete events above.) 

Dogs are welcome to participate with their two-legged companion as long as the dogs are well behaved and leashed. The organization requests that non-retractable leashes are used.

Music, dancing, food trucks, a kids zone, vendors and more will be on hand for a fair atmosphere. 

“We have thousands of supporters all over the bay area, so we thought we’d make it easier for everyone to participate by holding events in Manatee, Sarasota, and Pinellas counties” stated Titus Herman, CEO of Southeastern Guide Dogs. “And we want to say a big ‘thank you’ to JHS Capital Advisors for being the Presenting Sponsor of all three events.”

Can't make it to the Riverwalk event? The next walkathon is Saturday, March 2 in Sarasota's Payne Park then the following Saturday, March 9, the walkathon wraps up in Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

Each Walkathon will have a variety of attractions for the whole family, from local vendors, and food trucks to dog massages, and activities for the kids, there will even be an opportunity to experience what it is like to walk blindfolded with a trained dog.   

“The amount of support we get from the community and our extended Southeastern family is astounding. It is what allows us to continue to provide all our services for free” said Herman.

Prizes include $10,000 cash, a cruise for two on Royal Caribbean, and an Apple iPad. Raffle tickets cost $5 each or 5 for $20 and are available in advance and at all three Walkathons, with the drawing being held at Vinoy Park on March 9 at 11:30 am.


Event Details

Saturday, Feb. 23

808 3rd Avenue, Bradenton 

  • Registration—8:30 a.m.
  • Opening Ceremonies—9:45 a.m.
  • 3K Walk Kick-Off—10 a.m.
  • Event Wrap Up—Noon
  • Parking: Available on the first two floors of the Riverdance Condo Parking Garage at 808 3rd Ave West, or in the event parking lot west of the Manatee Performing Arts Center at 3rd Ave West and 7th Street West. 

Saturday, March 2

2050 Adams Lane, Sarasota

  • Registration— 8:30 am
  • Opening Ceremonies 9:45 am
  • 3K Walk Kick-Off 10:00 am
  • Event Wrap Up 12:00 pm
  • Parking: Free public parking will be available in the Sarasota County parking garage at Ringling Boulevard and School Avenue, adjacent to Payne Park. 

Saturday, March 9

Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg

  • Registration— 8:30 am
  • Opening Ceremonies— 9:45 a.m.
  • 3K Walk Kick-Off —10 a.m.
  • $10,000 Raffle Drawing —11:30 a.m.
  • Event Wrap Up—Noon  
  • Parking: Public parking garages and lots are available throughout downtown St. Petersburg for a fee. On-street parking is regulated to short-term parking only – posted parking regulations will be in force. Handicapped parking available at the Northsore Aquatic Complex
  • Shuttle Service: Red Open Air trolleys will be providing the shuttle service from 8 a.m. to noon and service dogs are welcome to ride. Stops every 10-15 minutes. Stops at Al Lang Field parking lot, BayWalk/Md Core parking garage and Vinoy Park.

For more information, visit www.guidedogs.org/walkathon or call 941-729-5665.


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