Matt Werder, marketing manager of Fleet Feet Sports in Syracuse, is a dog lover. Last year he adopted a dog from the CNY SPCA and last Sunday at Onondaga Lake Park, he became "Dogfather" to a whole lot more.
When Werder became aware of the financial plight of the local animal shelter he utilized his professional expertise and connections to organize, on short notice, the first "6-Legged 5K" walk-run event for two and four legged athletes. Teaming the store whose motto is "Come run with us," with the SPCA was a winning combination, as the participation of over 300 athletes (some 1500 legs) wound up raising over $6000 for the SPCA.
"It was a natural for me as a dog lover and a runner," said Werder, who is directing 100 percent of the proceeds from the event to the CNYSPCA.
Local businessman Mike Cerrone has produced T-shirts with the slogan "I gave five to keep a pet alive!" and the shirts were big sellers at the "6-Legged 5K." A woman, leaving with an armload of the shirts said that they were for some of her teenaged charges at the Elmcrest Children's Center who had pooled their allowances to donate to the SPCA. The shirts selling for five dollars will be available at the SPCA as well as other locations to be announced.
To make a donation or for more information on CNYSPCA events, including "Woofstock," the shelter's Website is cnyspca.org.