LINCOLN SQUARE — Neighbors can get a portrait of their pet during a National Dog Day fundraiser at Winnemac Park to raise money for pet owners in need.
Professional photographer Jenny May Stringer will snap pet and pet-parent portraits 8-11 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Thursday at Winnemac Park, 5100 N. Leavitt St. The event is being organized by the Friendship Center, which provides food to families — including their pets — in need.
“Pet portraits will be free, but we’re asking for a suggested donation of $20 or whatever folks can afford to help fellow pet parents in need,” said Ross Outten, the Friendship Center’s special projects director. “We’ve also created a Facebook fundraiser so people can donate from the comfort of their couch or via their phones.”
Folks can sign up for a five-minute photo shoot window by emailing Outten at firstname.lastname@example.org. Walkups are also welcome and will be accommodated between appointments as time permits.
The Friendship Center has its roots in North Park Covenant Church. The food pantry started in the summer of 1969. Over the decades, it’s grown into a nonprofit serving Lincoln Square, Ravenswood and West Ridge.
The pantry feeds more than 2,000 people on Chicago’s Northwest Side every month through its onsite food pantry and hot meal program. The center also provides free, nutritious dog and cat food to Chicago residents who need temporary help feeding their animals.
The goal of the pet food pantry is to remove stress for families who are struggling with job losses or low wages.
“Sadly, one of the first things to go when finances get tight is the family pet,” Outten said. “It breaks our hearts, as tough times are when families need their pets more than ever. No one should have to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their companion animals.”
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