Midcoast Humane is preparing for its 14th annual 5K run and one-mile walk fundraiser, “Save a Stray 5K,” which takes place on Saturday, Aug. 24 at L.L.Bean’s Discovery Park in Freeport.
The Save a Stray 5K & Festival raises money to benefit the 3,500 stray, surrendered, and neglected animals that enter Midcoast Humane’s doors each year. Proceeds help provide medical care, food, surgery, vaccines, and comfort to shelter animals.
The festivities will kick off on Friday, Aug. 23 with an Adopt a Stray Event from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., where you can adopt your next four-legged family member from Midcoast Humane. L.L.Bean and Tall Tails want to make sure that each dog adopted at the event starts off on the right paw in their new homes, so they are generously sending each dog home with a L.L.Bean Boat and Tote filled with a “Tall Tails Adoption Kit.” L.L.Bean’s Food, Fun & Films weekly event follows with food trucks arriving at 6 p.m. and the family-and pet-friendly movie, “Bolt,” begins at dusk.
The fun continues with Save a Stray Saturday morning at 8, featuring a dog-friendly 5K run and one-mile walk which circles the L.L.Bean Flagship campus and downtown Freeport, as well as many new events. Throughout the weekend, Dock Dogs will also be set up for demonstrations and audience participation.
Runners, walkers, and festival attendees are encouraged to bring their canine friends, though they must be leashed at all times.
L.L.Bean’s Dog Days of August, which follows the 5K run and one-mile walk, will feature a meet and greet with Maine Game Warden Kris McCabe and K-9 Morgan, a K-9 Demo from Bath Police Corp. Michelle Small and K-9 Sampson, Ask-a-Veterinarian with Dr. Bennett Wilson of Veterinary Quick Care in Freeport, animal communicator Judy Garbow, face-painting, a low-cost vaccination clinic, and more. Canine celebrities “Columbo” of Adventures of Columbo and “Millie of Maine” will also make special appearances. Complete event details are available on the event website at SaveAStray5K.org.
Save a Stray festival goers are encouraged to compete in Midcoast Humane’s Canine Contests with their dogs for Fastest Ice Cream Eater, Best Trick, Costume Contest, and Best Pet/Owner Look-Alike for prizes. The contests will begin at 9:15 a.m. on the Discovery Park Stage.
Save a Stray participants will earn rewards for raising money through personalized fundraising pages. Rewards include L.L.Bean gift cards and a Midcoast Humane fleece blanket. Registration is $25 per person until the day of the event. Those who register by Aug. 16 are guaranteed to receive a commemorative 2019 Save a Stray T-shirt.
"Save a Stray is a fantastic way for our community to support Midcoast Humane’s mission to help make life better for animals and people in our communities,” said Nicole Evans, Midcoast Humane’s director of development. “Bring your dog and your family, get some exercise, and enjoy a gorgeous Maine summer day, while making a difference for animals that need our help.”
For those who are unable to attend Save a Stray on Aug. 24, individuals can sign up as a virtual participant to support the race’s mission.
Key sponsors for this year’s event at the “Animal Welfare Champion” level include L.L.Bean and Veterinary Quick Care Freeport. “Veterinary Care Crusader” sponsors include The Times Record and Bath Savings. “Community Animal Advocate” sponsors include Furniture Superstore, Downeast Dog News, and Modern Woodmen of America.
To sign up, donate, or get more details about the event, visit SaveAStray5K.org or call 207-449-1366, ext. 110. Registrations will also be taken at the shelter’s administrative building at 190 Pleasant Street in Brunswick.