UPDATE: The Pet Walk raised $4,250 thanks to all the community support.
The Nanuet Fire Truck and Clarkstown Police blocked all traffic on Highview Avenue from Church Street to Townline Road, this past Sunny Saturday. It was the first major fundraiser for the Highview Community Playground project: The Paws for the Park Pet Walk.
The empty park where the wooden castle park once stood was now filled with families, couples and community residents who brought dogs of every shape and size. There were vendors set up, some donating their proceeds toward the park and, of course, tables for registration, information and volunteer sign up sheets.
“It was an amazing day, amazing volunteers for an amazing cause,” said Events Coordinator Moria Balseca.
There were several kids and teens volunteering early to help set up, one of which was Kevin Haney.
“I feel good because I played on the park a hundred times,” Haney said. “I feel it’s my duty to assist in the construction of it.”
Nanuet Animal Hospital’s Lynda Paul, LVT, was on hand to administer first aid if needed.
“I think it was a very successful event,” said Clarkstown Councilman George Hoehmann. He’s also on the fundraising committee for the playground project and a Nanuet resident. “It’s good to see all the support from all the people in this community to get this park built.”
“It’s a great day where the community came together for a terrific cause,” said Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack. “It shows the strength of the community when they get behind events like this.”
“It’s part of our 2.5 miles that we do every day,” said Nanuet resident Gerry Enea, referring to the walk he and his King Charles Cavalier, Reese, does daily. “We enjoy this every single day. We go down Highview (Avenue), turn on Townline (Road), up (Silver) Birch (Lane), up Allison (Avenue) and then Pelham (Avenue). That’s our loop.”
Although the walk route didn’t go the exact same loop Enea takes, it still went down Highview Avenue and came back up, which was a little under two miles, with Petsmart "poop stations" along the way.
There were also 'cooling stations' set up by Balseca.
Local vendors had give-aways from free massages to dog toy keychains.
Raffle Prizes were donated by Christine Camillieri’s Silpada, Pet Smart and the Pet Butler.
“We scoop people’s yards and we actually compost it at Rockland County’s Solid Waste Management,” said Marie Colantuoni, Pet Butler owner. “The old one (playground) was the coolest place to go to. It was so unique. The kids loved it.” Pet Butler serves both Rockland and Bergen counties.
Most of the community came out for this event and since the playground project is so close to people’s hearts, even those without a pet came out too.
“It’s a good turnout. We don’t have a dog, but wanted to come out to support the playground,” said Patricia Cesario.
Many kids came out, of course, including Katie Donnelly who said her favorite playground feature is the swings. Megan and Michael Gillespie also came out to the pet walk. Michael said his favorite playground part is “doing the monkey bars.”
“My friends and my sister always go to the playground and we have our own secret hideout,” said Megan.
Check out the Highview Playground Website and Facebook page for upcoming fundraisers and to see more pictures from the Pet Walk. Also, mark your calendars for the next Highview Playground fundraiser: .
Editor's note: If you took video or pictures of the event, share them with the community by adding them to the article! Just click "Add your photos/videos/pdfs" link in the photo box. Thanks!