Why I Run: In Memory of Sebastian

For years, Tami ran the BARCStoberfest 5K with her best friend Sebastian by her side. Now, Tami explains why she will be wearing a Paw to Remember this year...


In October 2005, my husband and I adopted our first dog, Sebastian.

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Sebastian was around a year old and, like many dogs his age, had endless energy. I’ll never forget the first time we went jogging in the woods. After a few miles of running up and down the hilly trails, I was beat. As I hunched over at the end of our run to catch my breath, I looked at Sebastian and noticed that he wasn’t even panting. That’s when I knew that my husband and I, both avid runners, had met our match.

Soon after adopting Sebastian, I heard about a brand new event in town called BARCStoberfest and decided to give it a whirl. Sebastian had a blast, dragging me all around the event and sniffing EVERYTHING. A few years later, BARCStoberfest launched their first ever 5K run. That year, and many after, Sebastian and I proudly ran that 5K.

Those first few years, Sebastian was the one leading and I ran as fast as I could to keep up with him. But as Sebastian aged, so did his pace. As he entered his senior years, he was still able to run with me, but at a much slower pace and with frequent breaks. It occurred to me that running with an older dog was perfect, as it gave me an excuse to also take breaks throughout the race.

With Sebastian running by my side, my finish time no longer mattered.

Eventually, my energizer bunny was no longer able to jog with me. And towards the end of his life, even walks became challenging. Although Sebastian would have hobbled along, as determined as ever, for many more years if he could have.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Sebastian last year. While it’s hard to run the BARCStoberfest 5K without him, I cannot imagine a better way to remember my running buddy. That is why this year, I will be running the BARCStoberfest 5K while proudly wearing my Paws to Remember pin in memory of the greatest dog there ever was, Sebastian.

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For a $10 donation, BARCStoberfest attendees can memorialize a pet that had crossed the Rainbow Bridge by wearing a special pin in their memory. Each pin will be paw-shaped and uniquely decorated by the students at Calvert School. Paws to Remember donations will help an animal in our shelter get one step closer to finding their forever home.

Reserve your pin today: https://www.barcstoberfest.org/paws

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Double Your Impact! Matched Donations Through July 31

The Harvey Agency is matching donations to BARCStoberfest up to $15,000 through July 31!

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If you haven't given to our biggest fundraiser of the year, now's the time! To celebrate the kickoff of the 15th annual BARCStoberfest, the Harvey Agency has pledged to match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $15,000 when you donate now through July 31.

Double the donations, double the impact:

$25 turns into $50 to provide vaccines, a flea treatment and a comprehensive medical exam for one abandoned or stray animal.

$50 turns into $100 to feed five animals with special medical diets for one week.

$100 turns into $200 to provide care and nutrition to a litter of motherless kittens or puppies.

$500 turns into $1,000 to spay/neuter a dozen homeless animals to prevent disease and pet overpopulation.

$1,000 turns into $2,000 to save the life of a pet who came in as a critical, overnight emergency.


Matches count for all donations made directly to BARCStoberfest (online, cash and checks).

If you haven't registered to raise money for BARCStoberfest, this is the perfect opportunity. Go to www.barcstoberfest.org.

Already registered for the festival? Ask your friends, family and colleagues to support your participation by making a donation to your fundraising page. Let them know if they make a contribution to your page, The Harvey Agency will match it!

You can help us make 2019 the biggest BARCStoberfest ever by registering to participate in fundraising as an individual or a team. Together, we need to raise $350,000 by the end of October to give second chances to Baltimore's homeless, abused, neglected and abandoned animals.


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The Harvey Agency is a brand activation agency that produces consumer activity and loyalty up close and personal, in-store, on-shelf, on-premise and online. The Harvey Agency is owned by BARCS Board President Kathy Harvey.

Help Us Design the 15th Annual BARCStoberfest T-Shirt!

Design this year's T-shirt! We'll be holding a T-shirt design contest during the month of July. T-shirts must include certain elements of the festival, but otherwise, let your creativity run free! Please only design the FRONT of the T-shirt.

The T-shirt, which will be maroon, must include:

Looking for more inspiration? Consider adding the following:

  • Elements of the fall season (leaves, colors, etc.)

  • The Patterson Park pagoda

  • Baltimore City themes or imagery

The contest closes on July 31. You can send your finished submissions to media@barcs.org.

Have fun! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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