It was a gorgeous day for a parade May 4 as area residents and their four-legged companions strolled down Main Street in support of a local Girl Scout troops mission to promote healthy habits and help the environment.
The first Paws for a Cause parade was held, put on by local Girls Scout Troop 7309, in an effort to raise money for a water filling station at Anamosa Middle School. The canines and their owners, some even decked out in costumes, began their walk in the park down by the baseball fields and tennis courts, walked to the “God Bless America” sculpture and then back again.
The project was part of the girls’ efforts to get their bronze awards, which requires 20 hours of service toward a project observing a part of the community. Troop Leader Christie Remley said the girls landed on the filling station for a couple of reasons.
“Having one would promote more water drinking at the school, which is important for hydration, and students choosing water over sugary drinks,” she said. “Two, helping cut down on some of the…disposable plastic water bottles.”
The girls started brainstorming last fall and came up with the idea for the parade earlier this year as a way to fundraise while involving their love of animals. Remley said she wasn’t sure whether they’d be able to get their ducks in a row in time, but that city officials really stepped up to help make the parade happen.
She said both City Administrator Jacob Sheridan and Police Chief Jeremiah Hoyt were very open and supportive of the event, with Hoyt helping provide the police escort alongside members of the police and fire department so they could have a safe walk down Main Street. Hoyt also provided tips on how best to make sure the event was a safe and enjoyable for everyone.
“I could not be more grateful for the assistance,” Remley said.
That graciousness also extended to the community members that participated and helped to make the inaugural event a success. Representatives from Animal Welfare Friends and Definitely Dogs, an organization which helps to train service dogs, were also on site taking donations and providing information on their organizations at the park.
Though the numbers haven’t been finalized, Remley estimated that the walk raised $500, minus expenses.
The possibility of doing the parade again next year was a topic brought up by multiple people over the course of the afternoon and, while the future of the event rests entirely in the troop members’ hands, the feedback was encouraging.
“That would be completely up to the girls,” Remley said of a repeat of the event. “I think the girls had a great time, our attendees had a great time, so I think it’s definitely a possibility.”
Another event was possible she said as they eye further projects as they move up the Girl Scout ranks.