Friends of the Dog Park continues moving toward goal of local dog park

Friends of the Dog Park moved closer to its fundraising goal Wednesday night during a silent auction at the Brass Café.

On the upper level of the Brass Café, the fundraiser featured a wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and an auction. All proceeds after the cost of refreshments benefitted the Friends of the Dog Park capital campaign. Auction tickets were sold for $50 each.

Agreed upon in October, the campaign dictates that, should Friends of the Dog Park raise one-third of the estimated $117,000 to build a functional park, the City of Mount Pleasant and Union Township would contribute the remaining two-thirds equally, so construction could begin in Mission Creek Park on Crawford Road.

Board member Ken Hofmeister was in charge of organizing the Brass Café fundraiser, and is committed to seeing a park designated specifically for dogs built in Mount Pleasant.

“If you want to take a dog to an off-leash dog park, you have to drive to Midland, which, for most people, is very inconvenient,” Hofmeister said.

The dog park would include features that are not seen in existing dog parks in the area, such as a 6-foot fence to maintain the safety of the dogs, wheelchair access and separate areas for large and small dogs.

Hofmeister has begun working with Tracy Burton, a professor of journalism at Central Michigan University, who is involving her public relations students in some of the final fundraising for the campaign.

“We started talking and trading emails and pretty soon we came up with this idea,” Hofmeister said. “She mentioned that she likes to get her class involved in a project each semester. It’s a chance for students to do a real life project.”

The estimated turnout at the Brass Café was 65 to 70 patrons, and there six more fundraisers planned for the rest of the year.

Scott Bellinger of Mount Pleasant attended the fundraiser with his wife to show support.

"(It's about) having a place where people are welcome with their dogs," Bellinger said. "There's a tendency for people to go to places that are good places to walk a dog, but if they don't pick up after themselves, then it can be a nuisance for the other uses of that kind of facility"


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