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Rally Planned for St. Charles Woman Competing to Win Dog Park Makeover

Head to DuSable Dog Park on Saturday from 12-2 p.m. for dog games, prizes and more.

St. Charles resident Susan Caraway is hoping to rally votes on Saturday for her bid to win a $500,000 makeover for DuSable Dog Park. 

Caraway is one of 12 finalists in a national Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest. The winner of the contest wins a $500,000 makeover for a dog park in his or her community. 

On Saturday, Caraway and the St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department will host a celebration and rally from 12 to 2 p.m. at the dog park. St. Louis All Dogs is also helping to organize the event. 

The event will include various activities for dogs and people, like musical mats instead of musical chairs. St. Charles Police Department will do a demonstration with police dogs and there will be gift bags and door prizes available, she said.  

In addition to fun activities, Caraway will sign up people to vote in the contest. Contest judges will select a winner based primarily on Caraway's submission essay and video, but votes from the community will also factor into their decision. Voting is open until Nov. 9. 

Caraway is also planning to send in some photos from the event to show Beneful that St. Charles is excited about a possible renovation. 

Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Chris Atkinson said this is a great opportunity for the dog park because in a typical year, all projects have to "compete" against one another for funding. Improvements to the dog park are weighed against uprades to other projects, like the new 110-acre park and Webster Park, both of which are still unopened. 

"We would never have $500,000 worth of improvements in one year," he said. "It's something we could never afford to do without some outside help." 

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