Rob Hunt has been familiar with Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) since its inception, and seen his involvement sprout throughout the past decade – eventually founding one of its seminal fundraising events.
“My wife Karen and I were looking for a charity we could support together, and learned of their dog walking and cat cuddling opportunities,” Hunt said. “We were accepted as volunteers and started to go through the training process.”
Volunteering on the yearly gala committee led to more responsibility and a larger impact on helping animals in need.
“When LAPS was looking for a spring fundraising opportunity, as runners, along with Jayne Nelson, we suggested a spring run,” Hunt recalled. “The first Furry Tails Footrace was born. It was a collaborative decision.”
The Furry Tails Footrace is a yearly spring event aimed at including both LAPS supporters and the Langley community as a whole.
It began as a five or 10 kilometer walk or run, with the participants encouraged to bring their dogs along for the stroll.
“We chose the Derby Reach – Houston Trail location for it’s beauty and accessibility. There is sufficient parking and room to gather before and after the race,” Hunt added.
Together, the Hunts, along with Nelson, Sean Baker, Jenn Schroeder, Drew Harkness, and other volunteers from LAPS have grown the fundraiser each year since its conception in 2016.
“My wife and I have set up the course over the years, organized the water and food donations, and managed the volunteers throughout the event,” Hunt said.
COVID-19 forced LAPS to move the event to a virtual race in 2020, where participants sign up as usual but cover the distance on their own.
“Many set up teams within their families and did their own fundraising beyond the regular entrance fee,” Hunt said. “It was a great success in 2020 and will be virtual again for 2021.”
Participants can choose to do a five kilometer, 10 kilometer, half, or full marathon at their own pace and own location sometime in April – posting their results online.
“Run, walk, bike, swim, paddle, or even treadmill the distance and log the results online,” he encouraged.
LAPS volunteers will later send a race medal and certificate.
All money from registration fees and donations will go towards helping animals in need at the shelter.
People can register now until April 29 by visiting raceroster.com/events/2021/37788/laps-2021-furry-tails-virtual-race.
Participants are additionally encouraged to share a selfie on social media using the hashtag #LapsforLAPS to inspire others.
“Karen and I are proud supporters of everything LAPS does for the animals of the Langley’s, and are extremely proud to be associated with the amazing group of hard-working folks that have kept LAPS going throughout COVID,” Hunt said.
“We are hopeful the community will continue to support the Furry Tails Foot Race, along with all the other support opportunities throughout the year.”
LAPS is a registered non-profit charitable society established in 2003 by a group of volunteers to care for animals in need.
More information about the organization can be found at www.lapsbc.ca.
The Patti Dale Animal Shelter is located at 26220 56 Ave.
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