Pups pack park for cancer benefit

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These dogs had their day.

The American Cancer Society held a “Doggie Flash Mob” in Marine Park on May 31 to drum up interest in the Relay For Life of Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, and Marine Park being held on June 7.

Dozens of dog-lovers descended on the park’s track around noon on Saturday to walk with their four-legged friends. Organizers said they wanted to put a spotlight on Spot, because dogs help cancer survivors and people undergoing treatment deal with pain and stress.

“Canines are caregivers and companions,” said the Relay for Life’s Joe Gillette.

One walker said her hound has a history helping the hospital-bound.

“She donates a lot of her time,” said Rose Ann Bolasny, who owns a Maltese named Bella Mia. “She goes to the Ronald McDonald House and nursing homes.”

Attendees donated $10 to the Society in exchange for a “Bark For Life” bandanna to put on their pups.

Pet trainer Rick Caran and his pack thrilled crowds with some amazing tricks, and a group of card-playing canines even reenacted the scene from of C. M. Coolidge’s iconic painting “Dogs Playing Poker,” Bolasny said.

There was also a dog costume contest, in which Bella Mia took top honors, she said.

The flash mob came a week before the Relay For Life’s major annual event, in which people whose lives have been touched by cancer will gather in Bergen Beach for a massive American Cancer Society fund-raiser, which collects money for life-saving research, education, advocacy, and services for thousands of cancer patients and their families across our country.

“2014 Relay For Life of Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, and Marine Park” at the John Malone Community Center [2335 Bergen Ave. between Avenues W and X in Bergen Beach, (212) 492–8414,] June 7 at noon.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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