Beacon, NY – Animal lovers, adorned in vibrant green race shirts, flocked to Memorial Park for the ninth annual ARF 5K Run & Walk with the Dogs on Sunday, May 19. The event proved to be a resounding success, setting an all-time high for attendance and raising over $13,000 for the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF). These proceeds will directly support the dogs and cats in their care. Joining the festivities were 224 participants in the 5K, 13 in the inaugural 1K Kids Fun Run, and over 70 dogs, including nine adopted from ARF.

In the 5K race, Otto Vogrincic (19:04) and Krista Kowalczyk (20:05) claimed the overall male and female titles. Joseph Pezzo (21:13) and his lab mix, Holly, secured the overall male/ dog team spot, while Marisa Gargaro (25:02) and her Australian Shepherd, Mya, won the overall female/ dog team title. See all race results >

In the 1K Kids Fun Run, Andres V. (3:55) and Iris D. (3:56) were the overall male and female finishers. Kids ages three to ten met this new addition to the morning with enthusiasm. It promises to be a beloved tradition at future events.

The Dog Costume Contest, judged by Mark Price, Director of the City of Beacon Parks and Recreation, and his wife Jennifer, featured whimsical outfits. The Most Hilarious Costume award went to the duo Otto, a basset hound mix dressed as the pope, and Harvey, a beagle mix dressed as a rabbi. Appa, a puppy recently adopted from ARF, won the Most Original Costume category, dressed as his namesake from Avatar the Last Airbender. Other notable costumes included Nintendo’s Mario and Luigi.

DJ Vybe, the presenting sponsor since 2016, infused energy with music and announcements throughout the morning. Other Top Dog sponsors, Camelot Print & Copy Centers ensured race banners and signs were in place and Hudson Valley Credit Union contributed a generous monetary donation. Beacon Boi sold hot dogs, keeping the runners fueled. Local businesses donated over $1,000 worth of raffle prizes, enhancing the event’s proceeds. Jessi led a a Zumba warm-up before the race and Rits Trini Art offered face painting. New SWAG this year also meant that all canine participants walked away with a personalized dog tag.

The safety of the event was supported by the Beacon Police Department. Special thanks to Councilmember-at-large Amber Grant for initiating the day’s activities and the 45 dedicated ARF volunteers who made it happen.

Save the date for the 10th Annual ARF 5K Run & Walk with the Dogs on Sunday, May 18, 2025.  We look forward to celebrating this exciting milestone with you!

Media Coverage

The Highlands Current >

Hudson Valley Press >


Event Photos

Check out all race photos… or watch a highlight reel below.

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Animal Rescue Foundation, commonly known as ARF, is a Federal 501(c)(3) non-profit, no-kill, 100% volunteer animal rescue located in Beacon, NY. Since 1986, we’ve rescued, rehabilitated, sheltered, and found loving homes for thousands of cats and dogs.