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Friday, Sep 19, 2014
Northeast News

Pups strut to support Rotary Dog Park


Published:

The name perfectly fit the feel of the occasion.

The Dog Days of Summer Concert, held on a recent early evening in Primrose Park, brought with it scorching hot temps that in time turned into showers.

It also attracted dozens of panting pups prepared to strut their stuff with their masters for what they believe is a worthy, albeit self-serving, cause.

The crowd of canines and caretakers were there to lend support to the New Tampa Rotary Club’s campaign to raise $25,000 toward building a 1-acre dog park adjacent to the New Tampa Recreation Center and Skate Park on Commerce Park Boulevard.

The envisioned tree-shaded park will have divided, fenced-in areas for small and large pets. In addition, there will be doggie drinking fountains and waste receptacles, as well as picnic tables and benches for the animals’ human buddies.

The City of Tampa has agreed to match the dollar amount the Rotary club collects through donations and the sale of bricks engraved to each buyer’s specification that will line the entrance to the dog park.

“So far, we’ve raised $20,000, so we’re getting close,” said Peter Gambacorta, immediate past president of the New Tampa Rotary Club.

Joyce Gunter, a New Tampa Rotarian and chairwoman of the organization’s dog park drive, greeted each dog and its owner as they came for the concert, a fundraising event she hoped would help inch the club even closer to its goal.

She also expressed her appreciation for the event’s entertainers, all of whom are fellow New Tampa Rotarians who gave of their time.

Local lawyer Pamela Jo Hatley, born and raised on a farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, sang and played the ukulele, banjo and guitar to early American tunes from her childhood years. Her partner in life and during her performance was fellow lawyer J. Steele Olmstead, strumming his Hawaiian resonator guitar.

Professional photographer and acoustic guitarist Bob Thompson, who also served as the event’s emcee, then took to the stage to display a bit of his talent.

“I’d like to thank everyone who turned out for this event and all those who’ve donated money for the dog park,” Gunter said. “We’re very excited about the outpouring of support from the community.”

For information about the project and to donate or purchase a brick, log onto www.rotarydogpark.org.

Joyce McKenzie can be reached at joycecmckenzie@gmail.com.

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