On September 13, local Rhonda Clark and Companion Art II mark their biggest night yet as the duo serve as the chair team for a family friendly, dog-friendly event new to Nashville called DogFest Walk ‘N Roll. The event is one of a number of fundraising and awareness walks being held in locations throughout the country to benefit Canine Companions for Independence, yet this marks a first for Clark, the Nashville community and for dog-friendly locale, Fontanel.
Rhonda knows firsthand about the difference a companion can make since she was paired with her dog, Art II, in February 2008. “I was independent before getting him, but now am even more independent,” said Rhonda, who lives with Cerebral Palsy. “Art can pick up dropped items for me, turn the lights off, put the clothes in the dryer as well as do a host of other things. (Yet,) the most important thing Art does is that he loves me unconditionally, and he's taught me how to be loved…”
So, that’s why Clark brought DogFest to Nashville. “I want to give the gift of independence to someone in the same way Art II was given to me.” She added, “I believe that together we can make a difference one assistance dog at a time.”
DogFest Walk “N Roll will be held Sept. 13 at Fontanel in Nashville. Teams are now being formed, a silent auction will be held concurrent with a dinner and a Nashville-style performance featuring Dove Award nominees Greg McDougal and the McDougal Kids, multi-talented performer and pianist David Seering, and world class entertainer and Grammy winning singer/songwriter Linda Davis will round out the evening.
For more information on the event, visit cci.org/dogfestnashville.
Clark was recently named Nashville's Volunteer of the Month for September in a program produced by Doing Good, a start-up, non-profit organization which celebrates those who make a difference throughout Metro Nashville. “This is the second time a dog has been at the core of the volunteerism by Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month,” says Megan McInnis, Director of Doing Good and dog-lover herself. “We are excited to share the positive stories of people – and dogs – making a difference in our community!” For more information about Clark, Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month program, or to nominate someone for this free program – log on to DoingGood.tv.
PHOTO BY CHRIS BLANZ.