Dogs have stuck with humans for centuries. Even today, people continue to appreciate their four-legged friends through good and bad times. 

Bark for Life, an annual fundraising event, was held at Morrow’s Meadow Park in Yorktown on Saturday. 

The event is an opportunity for dogs and dog owners to come together and help raise money for cancer research and awareness. The event cost $20 for one dog and $5 for each additional dog with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

According to a report by the American Cancer Society, 2017 will see an estimated 1,688,780 cancer case diagnoses and 600,920 cancer deaths in the United States. Indiana is estimated to have 36,440 cases and 13,590 deaths. 

The gathering kicked off with the release of several purple balloons in honor of those who are affected by cancer, followed by a dog walk around the park's trail. Music, food, vendors and even dog trick shows were present at the event. 

Dogs could also compete in a costume contest or line up to win the smallest and largest dog award.

Tara Whitehead, the co-coordinator for Bark for Life, said that MidWest Homes for Pets, a division of Mid-West Metal Products, puts on Bark for Life after the company was affected by cancer seven years ago. 

“We raise a lot of money for the American Cancer Society, which goes toward research and programs and services, so that’s great," Whitehead said. "But, there’s just a lot of dog love and joy and happiness. So, you know, it’s just a feel-good thing for us."

Whitehead said this is their fourth Bark for Life with the biggest turn out so far. She announced before the walk that $10,000 had already been raised prior to the event.

Tatijana Marsee, a community development manager for the American Cancer Society, oversees events and volunteers in the area, which include Bark for Life and Relay for Life. 

“It’s all about celebrating our survivors whether they be canine or human,” said Marsee.

Marsee said that she wants to make sure that events like this have plenty of education and resources provided to the committees from the American Cancer Society.  

“We want to make sure that people are really getting detected early or going to their cancer screenings or talking to that with their doctors if they see anything abnormal with their bodies,” Marsee said.  

Desdia Scott, who attended the event with her dog Drake, said that events like this are great for both dogs and the promotion of cancer treatment.

“It’s supporting cancer treatment and so I think that’s a great thing to do, and I also love doggie gatherings because they’re super fun. It’s good to socialize your pup,” Scott said.