Participants in the Atticus M. Finch Walk for the Animals came from far and wide to take part in the newly named fundraising event to benefit The Conway Area Humane Society. Walkers came from California, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to honor the memory of Atticus M. Finch of “Following Atticus” fame who passed away this past May. Atticus was the canine hiking partner of author Tom Ryan. There were, of course, many participants from our own Mt. Washington Valley.
The Walk took place on Saturday, September 24 under sunny skies and in cool temperatures. The Blessing of the Animals by Mary Edes kicked things off, followed by a few words from Tom Ryan in memory of Atticus. Tom led the walk with his dog Samwise, and following the walk the pair met with many friends and fans at White Birch Books. The walk alone raised $34,000, a new record and nearly $10,000 more than in past years. Top team fundraisers were Four Your Paws Only in third place, Friends of Furries in second and Team Atticus in first place. Top individual fundraisers were Aly McAllister in third, Stacy Sand in second, and Sandy Kurtz in first place.
The Bark in the Park Pet Expo followed the walk with vendors, games, food, raffles and more fun than any dog could ever have in one location. Two quilts were raffled off with themes of Atticus and Ryan’s elderly dog Will, who passed away one year ago. Thank you to Badger Quiltworks for crafting these for the event.
At press time funds were still being calculated but sources say they expect the overall net for the event to surpass $40,000, an all-time record.
The Conway Area Humane Society would like to thank all event sponsors, including the main event sponsors Adventure Suites and Settlers Green OVP, and many thanks to Tom Ryan and his many followers. Kudos also to all CAHS volunteers, walk participants, vendors and event attendees.