The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons will hold its 20th annual "Stroll to the Sea" dog walk next month.
The two-mile dog walk to Main Beach begins and ends at Mulford Farm in East Hampton Village, but there will also be a flurry of canine activity at the farm after the walk, all intended to promote responsible dog ownership and awareness of
ARF. It will be held on Oct. 12, starting at 9 a.m.
"It might be the longest running dog walk on Long Island. I 'd be hard pressed to find another," Sara Davison, the executive director, said.
The event got started 20 years ago on the suggestion of Zoe Kamitses, who remains on ARF Hampton's board as a vice chairperson. Back then, it was held in the springtime. For the first five years or so, it was held closer to the Wainscott animal shelter, where participants walked from the East Hampton Airport.
"We've come up in the world," Davison said with a laugh. "Getting the dogs to the ocean is a real highlight." Participation has grown to about 300 dogs since it was moved to East Hampton Village.
When they started 20 years ago, there were about 100 dogs participating. The price, however, has never changed — $25.
Participants can raise money for ARF Hamptons, based in Wainscott, through pledges, and they can event set up their own team page online. The prizes for top fundraisers include a spa treatment and basket of beauty from Naturopathica and dinner for two at The 1770 House. Anyone who collects $250 or more in pledges will receive a leather luggage tag, courtesy of Coach. Those who register as a “Top Dog”, contributing $250, or a “Great Dane”, contributing $500, are invited to attend the Kick-Off Cocktail Party on Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. at committee members Kevin McCarthy and Mark Webb's house in East Hampton Village.
Dog walkers can register at www.arfhamptons.org. The event is free to those under 16. Participants can also register over the phone by calling 631-537-0400 x 215 or at the farm, starting at 9 a.m.
Dogs that are walking get free nail clippings, and their walkers get a free tee shirt — with artwork designed by fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi —, tote bag and 20th annual commemorative frisbee and refreshments including Starbucks Coffee and Dreesen’s Famous Donuts.
Contests will also be held, such as "dog/owner look-a-like," "the Pooch who can smooch" and "stupid pet tricks." The first prize for all contest winners is a crystal dog by Baccarat. The contests start at 11 a.m.
A dog agility course will be available for a test run. Singer/songwriter Sandy Rapp will perform, and there will also be a silent auction, with many products, services and experiences for owners and pets.
New for this year is a Chinese Auction and sketches of dogs by artist Lynn Matsuoka.
In case of rain, the event will be held on Oct. 13.