The third annual Dog Walk For Alysa in memory of Alysa Young drew about 50 participants and a number of canines (including two “borrowed” SPCA dogs who enjoyed the special outing), as well as friends and family members, generating cash and pet supply donations to the Saskatoon and Swift Current SPCAs in memory of a young woman who devoted her life to improving animal welfare.
“This is not an SPCA fundraiser, but if people do feel compelled to ... one of my girlfriends, rather than donate money or donate things, took her kids out and volunteered at the SPCA, sort of doing that with Lysa in mind,” said Michelle Young, Alysa’s mother.
Family and friends travel from Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Rosetown, Medicine Hat and Edmonton each year to walk for Alysa, her mother said.
“One of Alysa's friends, Chelsey Horvey, borrowed two dogs from the Swift Current SPCA to bring to the walk. Not only did they enjoy themselves, but Chels is considering adopting one of them!”
Donations in Alysa's memory to the Swift Current SPCA amounted to $132.40 in Canadian Tire money and $569.49 in cash for a total value of $702.89. Other donations that were made included three large bags of dog food, three large bags of cat food, 22 cans of dogs food, 12 tins of cat food, seven jumbo packs of paper towels, 15 jugs of bleach, four large boxes of garbage bags, six jugs of laundry detergent and assorted multi-purpose cleaners, dog treats, wipes, a cleaning brush, scrubbers and disposable gloves. One family member also made a donation to the Saskatoon SPCA, which is where Alysa worked.
“Rather than sitting at home and thinking another year has passed, looking forward to the walk every year – this is year three – Lysa’s high school friends congregate afterwards and I always hear a new story,” explained Michelle.
“She worked at the Saskatoon SPCA and she was a huge animal lover, always, from the time she was a toddler. When she found her job at Saskatoon SPCA, she said, ‘You know I could care less, Mom, if I get to work with other people.’
“We are so pleased that the SPCA and the animals that Lys loved so dearly can be the recipient of donations made in her memory. My parents will be taking the donations to the SPCA later this week once arrangements can be made with the Shelter.”
The walk concludes every year with a piper playing in recognition of Alysa's many years dancing with the Green Braes, followed by a balloon release. Afterwards, everyone gathers to reminisce and share special memories.