What: Blessing of the animals, conducted by Rev Emily Guthrie of St Margaret’s Episcopal Church.
When: This Saturday morning, October 2nd, from 8 to 9:30 am.
Where: 17th Street Dog Park at 17th and S Streets NW (outside fence by tables and benches). Dogs and people of all faiths are invited to take part in the traditional blessing of the animals. Dogs will receive medals of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals (Feast Day is this weekend). Pets will also receive treats, including doggie ice cream or baked goods. Blessing ceremonies will be brief with one every 20 minutes. Coffee and pastries for the humans.
Why: In addition to the blessing of our pets, this event will feature a mini-walk around the Dog Park to help raise funds for Charlie’s Place, the homeless outreach program at St Margaret’s Church (1830 Connecticut Avenue NW). Charlie’s Place offers hot meals and counseling, and has placed dozens of homeless people in housing and jobs, getting them off of the streets. This event will be in conjunction with the Fannie Mae March for the Homeless.
About the Mini-Walk: After each blessing ceremony, participants will be invited to take a walk around the block and make a donation to Charlie’s Place. This will qualify this as a “mini-walk” according to the Fannie Mae Foundation, and make the group eligible for matching funds. (Give what you wish, but for $25 you get a T-shirt). Last year, Charlie’s Place raised more than 40% of its total budget ($58,000 out of $120,000+) from a mini-walk and the November March for the Homeless. Credit cards, checks and cash accepted.
One but Not the Other? You may do the blessing without the walk or the walk without the blessing.