Critters: for 6/15/17: Bark for Life 2017 surpasses goal

Greater Bangor Bark for Life was held on Saturday, June 3 at Bass Park in Bangor. Walkers from all over the area and even all over the state, make a lap around the Bass Park racetrack, participated in contests and had a chance to visit dog-friendly vendors. Photo by Debra Bell, Bell’s Furry Friends Photography.

Greater Bangor Bark for Life was held on Saturday, June 3 at Bass Park in Bangor. This year’s fund-raising event netted $13,660, bringing the six-year total up to $100,000. Funds go to the American Cancer Society.
CREDIT: Photo by Debra Bell, Bell’s Furry Friends Photography.

By Debra Bell

Special to The Weekly

This past weekend marked the sixth annual Greater Bangor Bark For Life, held at Bass Park Racetrack and my fifth year serving as their official photographer. One reason I love working with the Bangor Bark for Life committee is witnessing first-hand their passion for raising funds that will benefit the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life. Events like Bark take a lot of planning and preparation (not to mention execution) and the committee and its volunteers tackle it like an easy, breezy task.

According to Jodi Veneziano, a Greater Bangor Bark for Life committee member, the committee’s goal was $12,000 for this year’s event. And they surpassed it.

This year’s Bark saw 100 people participate and an almost equal amount of dogs. And participants — whether walking as part of a team or just because — raised $13,660, bringing the six year average to over $100,000.

“We’re losing far too many loved ones (including our pets) to cancer,” Veneziano said. “Greater Bangor Bark for Life wants to contribute to finding a cure for cancer with every dollar we raise so we can celebrate more birthdays and make more memories with those we love.”

Bark for Life is a special event that’s part of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. This event in particular focuses on the special bond between pets — primarily dogs — and their people. Pets provide a special level of comfort when their people are facing a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. And while the funds raised from Bark for Life go to the American Cancer Society, many participants choose to also honor their own pets who have fought and passed from cancer.

I became involved in Bark to honor my own clients and family who have experienced the cruel hand of cancer. Now the event holds an even more special place in my life. Many people in my own family have been touched by cancer, including our own special angel greyhound Laura who passed this past January from intestinal cancer.

In photographing the event and supporting the people who attend and the committee that plans and executes it each year, I hope that I’m able to make a small difference. It is an honor and a pleasure to bark back against cancer.

This event happens yearly in Bangor in June. Follow them on Facebook @GreaterBangorBarkForLife or make a donation online at


Debra Bell is a freelance writer, graphic designer and the owner of Bell’s Furry Friends Photography (a division of Bell Imaging & Design LLC). Bell’s Furry Friends Photography has been named Bangor’s Best Pet Photography Studio in 2014–16. Debra and her husband Bill, are owned by a Maine coon cat named Olivia, a greyhound named Buddy and an angel greyhound named Laura. See her work and learn more about Bell’s Furry Friends Photography at



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