September 21, 2011 Edition

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Cavenaugh Thumperthon
5K to aid Humane Society

Donald Cavenaugh (left) visits with David Howell of Jonesboro, whose wife, Sara Howell, is helping sponsor the Cavenaugh Thumperthon in Walnut Ridge.
John Bland

Donald Cavenaugh, well-known area car dealer, and his former running partner, the family dog named Thumper, are being honored with a 5K run this Saturday in Walnut Ridge. Cavenaugh is turning 60 this year, and his family could think of no better way to say happy birthday.

"My dad has always encouraged us to run," said Matt Cavenaugh of New York City, one of Cavenaugh's children. "We've all done a lot of running."

"Dad, for many years, ran with our former family pet, Thumper," Matt said. Thumper, a mixed breed adopted dog, had amazing stamina. "He brought a lot of joy to us and was a great runner."

The Cavenaugh Thumperthon 5K race begins Saturday at 8 a.m. at Stewart Park, and all profits from the event will go to the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society. Participants can register online or on the day of race between 6:30 and 7:45 a.m. Day of race registration is $20.

Dogs and their owners are encouraged to run together in the 5K, and prizes will be awarded to both. All dogs must be on leashes.

Following the 5K run a Kids Fun Run will be held. Children age 12 and younger may participate and will receive medals.

The marathon is to help raise awareness and funds for the care of abused and abandoned animals. The Northeast Arkansas Humane Society will be onsite with animals available for adoption, and Hollywood Feed will be providing treats for the dogs.

"Dad always encouraged us to support the community and local businesses," Matt said. "We wanted to plan an event in Northeast Arkansas, particularly in Walnut Ridge. We are trying to make the event as unique and fun as possible."

Trey Stafford from The Fox 104.9 FM will be broadcasting live at the event, and the newly crowned Princess America Pageants' National Teen 2011, Amber Mitchell of Sheridan, will be present.

"Even if you're not an avid runner, we think you would still have a good deal of fun at this event," said Matt. "We hope people will come and check us out."

"Stewart Park is the perfect place for the run with flat, nice scenery," he added.

Along with the NEA Humane Society, other sponsors of the run are Barton's of Walnut Ridge, Walmart, Cavanaugh Auto Group, Families, Inc., Crossfit 870 of Jonesboro, Sara Howell Studio and Gallery, Gearhead Outfitters, Hollywood Feed, Hays, Jonesboro Radio Group, Kait8 and The Times Dispatch.

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