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Event raises money, awareness; Labfest held at Four Freedoms

By Staff | Sep 15, 2008

Saturday was another dog day for Laurie Posey, district coordinator for Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida’s Southwest region. She was attending the third annual Labfest in Four Freedoms Park in downtown Cape Coral to raise funds and awareness for Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida, a non-profit organization that provides veterinary care in addition to finding foster homes for labs.

“They’re one of my favorite breeds and the one I’m most used to, that’s why I got involved,” Posey said of the labs.

Posey also said she was looking to recruit volunteers, and was aided by her two labs, Guiness and Seagram.

“They’re really good with kids, a good family dog,” Posey said.

Lou and Anita Simmons, owners of the Cape Dog Bakery, started Labfest as a way for labs and their owners to socialize with others, and to raise money and awareness for organizations like Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida.

“It’s a good day, everyone has a good time,” Lou Simmons said.

“I’ve had labs for over 30 years,” Simmons added as he sat next to his two labs, Chester and Lucy. “They’re such people dogs, they’ll do anything for food and affection.”

Sarah Brandeburg, a Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida volunteer and Naples resident, knows firsthand the importance of providing veterinary and foster care for labs that would otherwise not receive it. She adopted 10-year-old Maya in March and oversaw her recovery after she had a 6-pound tumor surgically removed.

“She’s a good success story. Maya’s a good ambassador for Lab Rescue,” she said.

Brandeburg, who also owns another lab named Zoe, said the inherent joy of labs is what attracted her to the breed.

“They’re just so happy, they always want to be with you,” she said.

For more information on donating to or volunteering for Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida, visit: www.labradorrescue.net.