When it comes to his community, Reyes Carranza, IT Epic Analyst at Valley Medical Center, knows family goes beyond just people. “Everyone I know, their pets ARE their families,” says Reyes. For him, caring for his community means “doing and giving what you can to make our world a better place.”
To that end, in order to raise much-needed funds to improve his local dog park’s fencing, Reyes organized the inaugural Canine Couture Dog Fashion Show at Grandview Off-Leash Dog Park this summer. “I wanted to give something to the park that has given ‘my boys’ so much joy,” says Reyes, a regular visitor with his partner and four dogs since moving to Kent in January 2016.
Under Reyes’ leadership and vision, the Canine Couture Dog Fashion Show fundraiser featured a red carpet for each dog to “walk the runway” in their own unique coat or costume. Posing in photos with each fashionable pup, several community members volunteered as canine-inspired celebrity judges such as Cruella Deville, Bark Jacobs, and Tyra Barks.
This year the Grandview Off-Leash Dog Park set a goal of $20,000 to fund new six-foot fencing around the 37-acre perimeter. The park is run and maintained by a non-profit group called Dog Owners of Grandview Park Supporters (DOGS) who rely 100% on donations.
To continue support of the park fundraising effort, the “celebrity” judge and pup photos will be featured in next year’s DOGS promotional calendar. The Canine Couture event was so successful that DOGS has already asked Reyes to host the event again in 2020 to which he states his “answer is an enthusiastic YES!”