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Rainmaker to Record-breaker: Dog Jog, 5k, and Block Party, presented by Holiday Barn Pet Resorts spans the weekend to raise more than $211,000  

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2024

Is there anything more unpredictable than the weather in Virginia? In the week leading up to our 22nd Annual Dog Jog, 5k and Block Party, you could find our events team incessantly refreshing the CBS Weather Authority app. As the day of our event grew closer, the rain prediction went from a “maybe-it-will-change-again” forecast to a resounding “uh-oh.” Fortunately, the one thing we CAN rely on is our amazing community of 5k runners, sponsors, adopters, vendors and friends. We made the decision to move the Block Party, sponsored by Moore Subaru to Sunday and the clouds parted as the stars aligned to make it all happen. Our heartfelt thanks go to our friends in the band Sold Separately, our sponsors, and all our vendors who kindly made the switch from Saturday to Sunday.

Helping us get the word out were our remarkable media sponsors at CBS6 and Mix98.1. Greg McQuade and Kat Simons are two of the most dedicated and generous friends to the Richmond SPCA, and we can’t thank them enough for their support. This year, Greg recruited Walter the Weather dog, who made sure his canine friends knew what a good time we had in store.

Despite the early-morning rain, Saturday did not disappoint.

Like the champions they are, our 5k runners and Dog Joggers came out on Saturday the 23rd to show their support for homeless pets. At 10 a.m. 276 humans braved the downpour to participate in the 5K, sponsored by Williams Mullen, while 369 dogs registered to bring their families along for the 1-mile Dog Jog, sponsored by Apex Systems, a division of AGSN, Inc. In all, nearly 1,000 participants registered for one or both in-person events as well as our “run anywhere” virtual option.

Our wonderful mascot and Richmond SPCA alumnus, Irving, arrived in time to kick off our Dog Jog. Joining Irving and all his friends were 12 dogs available for adoption from the Richmond SPCA. In one of the best moments of this weekend, Irving’s guardians became smitten with one of the shelter dogs, a beautiful good girl named Missy. Missy went home to spend some time with Irving and his family Saturday night, and they all returned on Sunday — to ring the adoption bell for Missy! Congratulations to Irving, Missy (now Millicent) and their guardians for making the Dog Jog the best day of Miss Milly’s life.

VCU Health’s Pauley Heart Center sponsored the Runner Recovery Tent, providing water, fruit and fuel to all our race participants. Our course was in tip-top shape thanks to Clean Course Sponsor Tredegar. Registration was made possible thanks to a generous sponsorship from James River Air Conditioning Co. and prizes for our top runners were courtesy of our good friends at Fleet Feet. Michael and Son Services sponsored our pre-event packet pickup, which took place across multiple days the week of the event.

Once again, the fun continued after our race events thanks to our friends at Moore Subaru, who kindly supported our decision to move the Block Party to Sunday afternoon, March 24. For three years Moore Subaru has sponsored our Block Party, ensuring this event is free to all animal lovers in our community.

The sun made sure the Block Party was a good time for all and provided the perfect backdrop for our Little Paws Fun Run, sponsored by RVA Pediatrics. Invisible Fence Brand of Richmond sponsored our entertainment, which featured Richmond’s own Sold Separately. Guests had a choice of adult beverages from Brown Distributing and Tito’s Vodka while they shopped in our outdoor marketplace and enjoyed food from our wonderful food trucks.

The Block Party is an event for the whole family – including the family pet. Canine companions were encouraged to try their paws at agility in our Pets’ Fun Zone, sponsored by Woodfin, while Genworth generously sponsored activities for children in the Kids’ Fun Zone.

Altogether participants, sponsors, vendors, fundraisers and raffle ticket purchases helped raise $210,900 for vulnerable pets in the care of the Richmond SPCA. This fundraising result is the best we’ve had in the 22-year history of this event. We are so grateful for this community’s support. The raffle, sponsored by NDSE, featured a beach getaway, a Wolf coffeemaker, and a $500 gift card to Wegman’s.

Our enormous thanks go to our top individual fundraisers Trina Anise, a self-described “crazy cat lady” who led the pack, and Richmond SPCA Green Team volunteers Stephen Carter and Leanne Battle. Team Running Buddies ran away with the team win, bringing in $17,000 and once again securing their place as lead group fundraisers and pet-lovers extraordinaire. Their dedication to this event, and to the pets in our care every day, fills our hearts with both gratitude and inspiration.

The success of this beloved event would not have been possible without the hard work of event chair Andrea Gould. Andrea spent the past seven months securing prizes, promoting sponsorships and inspiring an amazing committee of pet lovers with her dedication to our mission. Her support for this event, and all the last-minute changes it required, was remarkable. If you attended, you likely met Andrea as she worked multiple shifts in our pre-event packet pickup and day-of registration area. Andrea is truly a volunteer who rolls up her sleeves and helps staff get things done. We are grateful to Andrea for her leadership and determination, and proud to report that she led her 2024 committee to raise more for this event than any Dog Jog before it. Congratulations and thank you, Andrea!

Our deepest thanks go to our dear friends at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts who once again returned as the signature sponsor for this event. Their commitment to animal welfare in Richmond is commendable and includes their staff and team members who volunteer to make this joyful event possible. We are grateful to all of you. Thanks also for bringing the bling. Our pets felt extra fancy after a visit to the Holiday Barn Pet Resorts bling booth.

And finally, on behalf of the staff, board, the pets in our shelter and patients in our Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital, our deepest thanks go to all of you who secured or made cash sponsorships, donated prizes or raffle items, formed corporate or family/friend teams, made donations, fundraised, registered, sponsored our staff and volunteers to participate, encouraged your friends to sign up, sold or bought raffle tickets, volunteered the day of the event and more. With your enormous help, we raised crucial funds to save the lives of pets throughout our community and to deliver essential services to the people who love them. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you did to make this year’s Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party a success.

We hope to see you all again next year! We’ve put in a special request to Walter the Weather Dog at CBS6 to ensure mother nature cooperates in 2025 😉.

More photos of our 22nd Annual Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party

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