COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.--Sunday at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park was all about the dogs. The West Michigan Whitecaps celebrated the "dog days" of summer by collaborating with Gilda's Club for the 13th annual "World's Largest Dog Wash", making a splash that was too good to miss.
"How often do you get to have a date day with your dog?"
For many i think the answer is not often, but that's what Sunday at the ball park was all about as hundreds of dogs came out for the "World's Largest" dog wash.
"It's been a great partnership with the West Michigan Whitecaps. They're incredible collaborators. They have their dog day at the ball park. So we get to kind of tap in to that and make sure that we have a great audience of dogs so folks can come get their dog washed and cooled off and spiffed up before the game and then head into the ballpark for a fun afternoon of baseball," says Joanne Roehm, Gilda's Club.
Whether dog owners came by to get a much needed nail clipping for their pooch or to get a world class wash for just ten bucks, most owners say they loved getting the chance to treat their pet and give back.
"We love to donate. I donate a lot to charity. I donate a lot of my time and a lot of my money to charities and this has worked out well that its helped him and helps them," says Jennifer Fohlbrook, Dog Wash Attendees.
The wash raises money for Gilda's Club, a cancer support club, and was started 16 years ago by an eight-year-old who became a member of Gilda's Club when his father passed away from cancer.
"When you're that young and you get cancer in your life you feel like you're the only person to deal with it and Gilda's Club was there for us. So, I had an idea to give back to them finally and when I was eight years old a dog park sounded like a great idea," says Cody Kropf, Started the Annual Dog Wash.
And it was! Over the years the dog wash has grown into what it is today, washing hundreds of dogs and helping members like Cody.
"Everything that we do is free to the community and free is expensive to produce and it also raises great awareness for Gilda's Club. It's both really unique that an eight year old came up with this idea and that it's kept going for so long. But, it's also just a really nice story of someone that wanted to give back and really benefitted from our programs," Roehm says.
"When you get cancer it's a whole new thing for everyone and when you have a support system there of other people that have it, it helps a lot. You don't feel like you're along in a stark little world anymore. There's a light at the end of the tunnel," says Kropf.
And with this annual dog wash that same light can shine for many others who go through Gilda's Club.
You can find out more information about Gilda's Club by clicking here.