The evolution of our Walkathons
The Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathons have evolved from humble beginnings to a series of wonderful, multi-site events that comprise our biggest fundraiser of the year.
The first Walkathon was held in 1987 at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto, Florida. About 50 volunteers and supporters attended and raised over $15,000 on behalf of our guide and service dogs dogs. Two years ago we expanded to seven locations, and we now host NINE!
In 2018, we’re thrilled to hold Walkathons in: Bradenton, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Polk County, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, and Lakewood Ranch. And for the first time, we will have a virtual walkathon.
In 2016, we aimed high with our first ever $1 million goal and with your help, we can surpass that in 2018! Growth is exciting because every dollar raised helps us match more guide and service dogs with people with visual impairments and veterans.
What’s in a Walkathon?
While our locations may change and expand, each Walkathon shares a common theme—a fun-filled walk for a deserving cause. Each Walkathon includes a dog-friendly walk in the springtime, tasty food options, lively music, fabulous shopping, and fun for the entire family.
Our walkers and friends champion this fundraiser by asking for support from friends and family, selling raffle tickets, and staging personal fundraising activities such as car washes and neighborhood yard sales.
To generate even more excitement, our Walkathon Raffle includes a grand prize of $10,000 cash as well as event prizes of $1,000 cash to be won at each of the eight events. We also offer fundraising incentives such as milestone t-shirts, tumblers, exclusive top dog t-shirts, and puppy naming sponsorships or student scholarships.
- $1-99 – Walkathon dog bandana
- $100 – Walkathon T-shirt
- $250 – Walkathon Tervis® Tumbler
- $1,000 – Walkathon Top Dog T-Shirt
- $2,500 – “Leader of the Pack” polo shirt
- $5,000 – Name a Southeastern Guide Dogs Puppy OR Fund a Student Scholarship
In order to qualify for the bandana, t-shirt, tumbler, Top Dog fundraiser t-shirt or “Leader of the Pack polo incentives, you must reach these goals individually, even if you are part of a team. Team members can combine their individual fundraising totals to Name a Puppy or Fund a Student Scholarship but they must be part of the same team. For all levels except Name a Puppy/Fund a Student Scholarship, participants must be present to pick up their incentive items.