Berlin to Hold First 'Bark for Life' Relay Event - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Berlin to Hold First 'Bark for Life' Relay Event

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Downtown Berlin (Photo: WBOC) Downtown Berlin (Photo: WBOC)

BERLIN, Md.- The "Coolest Small Town in America" is launching a new tradition on Friday night.

Berlin will host its first Bark for Life event, designed to unite the community and their dogs in the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society is sponsoring the event that is similar to Relay for Life. It will run from 6-8 p.m. Registration opens at 5 p.m. in front of the Berlin Fire Company on Main Street.

Early Friday morning, the streets of Berlin were empty, but that will not be the case for long.

Berlin's historic downtown area will be filled with people like Joanna Laslo and her dog, Marina, who will participate in the inaugural event.

"I think it's a wonderful thing for them to do," Laslo said. "I mean it's a huge problem throughout the nation and everyone that can bring attention to it adds to the benefits."

Laslo knows what it is like to battle an aggressive illness. She used to have Lyme disease, a bacterial illness usually spread by ticks. It can have a grave affect on the nervous system. Laslo said she was bedridden for three years.

"You know it tends to wear on you [and] your emotional well being," Laslo said.

But, her 3-year-old pooch gave her hope at a time when she needed it most.

"Somehow when you're holding your animal and you're animal is always glad to see you no matter what happens or how your day is , it just really comforts you and makes your feel better," Laslo said.

Dogs have played a key role in the lives of cancer survivors, which is why they are invited to tonight's fundraising event. The pooches and their owners will walk a mile through downtown. Along the way, survivors will be honored, the deceased will be remembered and the dogs will be recognized for their unconditional love.

Owners are encouraged to dress their dogs in costumes. There will be pet costume contest.

When the walk is over at 7 p.m., people are encouraged to stick around through 8 p.m. to check out shops.

Twenty percent of all sales at Sisters, Main Street Sweets and Bruder Hill will be donated to The American Cancer Society. 

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