While wintering in Sun City Center, Florida, in 1982, Lion and Mrs. Robert D. Miller had the idea to produce dogs that were well-acclimated to the oppressive heat and humidity of the region for visually impaired guide dog handlers. Southeastern Guide Dogs was incorporated in the State of Florida in December and was recognized as an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary
partnerships between people and dogs. A nonprofit with a national reach, Southeastern
Guide Dogs trains dogs of the highest pedigree for people who are blind and for
veterans with disabilities, providing their premier dogs and lifetime services
at no cost, without government funds.
In business for 38 years, Southeastern Guide Dogs has hosted Walkathons for 34 years. They are their biggest fundraisers and have grown tremendously over the years.
One of their largest Walkathon events is held in St. Pete each year. The beautiful parks, caring businesses, and generous people, all make St. Pete a great place to hold an event.
Last year the St. Pete event broke a world record of having the most dogs wearing a bandana at an event with 885 dogs. This year they are expecting to build on that momentum, bringing over 1,000 people to Downtown St. Pete and giving their vendors and sponsors lots of exposure.
The St. Pete Walkathon will take place on March 21st at North Straub Park from 9a – 12p. This free, family-friendly event includes a variety of events, including a 3K walk and a Waggin’ Tails Festival with live music, food, vendors, and an exciting raffle drawing.
Walkathons are Southeastern Guide Dogs’ largest fundraiser of the year with a 2020 goal of $1.3 million dollars. Proceeds help breed, raise, train, and match their amazing dogs with people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities, and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military.
For more information or to sign up, raise funds, and set up Walkathon teams, visit www.guidedogswalkathon.org. For additional questions, call 941-729-5665.