The 3rd Annual Snowman Shuffle Fun Walk and Doggie Stroll is searching for participants to collect pledges from family and friends and help raise funds for the city's Special Populations program.
The one-mile walk will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, with registration opening at 8 a.m. It kicks off at 9:15 a.m. Participants are asked to collect monetary pledges for the event to benefit Special Populations.
"It's a really good cause, it's fun and it's a fast event," Vince Marcucci, president of the Guardian Angels for Special Populations, said Tuesday. "It's a great way to help out the community."
Special Populations is for intellectually and physically disabled adults and children. There are about 80 participants in the day program, with another 60 who attend the special events and evening activities.
"They're from throughout Lee County, not just Cape Coral," he said of the program participants.
For the walk, people can participate as an individual or a team, and even dogs can take part.
Last year, approximately 230 people and 35 dogs participated.
"We raised about $5,400," Marcucci said. "We're hoping to do better this year."
Organizers have set a goal of $7,000 for this year's walk.
The walk begins and ends at the pavilion at Sun Splash Family Waterpark.
A free continental follows, along with an awards ceremony.
Marcucci explained that prizes are handed out to the individual, team and dog that collect the most pledge money. The individual prize is a tablet or $250 Best Buy card, the team prize is lunch or dinner at Richie B's Sports Restaurant and the dog gets a gift certificate for vet services and goodie basket.
"Some people get into that," he said. "They like to see how high they can go."
Those who raise at least $20 in pledges or register for $20 will receive an official event T-shirt and a goodie bag. Dogs can register for $10 and receive an official "I WOOF Special Pops" bandana.
"It's really a family friendly event for all ages," Marcucci said.
"They can walk, stroll, ride, use wheelchairs, crutches, push strollers," he added.
A city vehicle will travel the route to pick up participants who get tired.
While participants are asked to register or collect pledges, the walk is a free event.
"The whole idea is a fund-raiser, but we wouldn't turn anybody down," Marcucci said. "It's a community event - we're happy to have people come out and be with us."
Walkers can also sign up to be a "buddy" for one of the Special Populations participants.
Forms for the walk are available online at: myspecialpops.org or at the Freida B. Smith Special Populations Center, at 410 Santa Barbara Blvd. It is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, visit the Web site or call (239) 574-0574.