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Dogs assemble to help Albemarle business owner

Stanly’s canine community plans to lend a paw to one of its two-legged friends this weekend.

On Saturday, more than 50 dogs will gather in downtown Albemarle for the Paws for a Cause Pack Walk, a fundraiser for local business owner and dog enthusiast Connie Goins who was diagnosed with breast and lymph node cancer earlier this year.

“It’s going to be a great group and we’re looking for more people to join us,” said event organizer Wendy Laney.

Starting at Glory Beans Coffee House at 10 a.m., the Pack Walk will take participants on a two-mile loop through downtown Albemarle. Two-legged participants will be given a T-shirt to wear to the event, and four-legged participants a matching bandana.

“Honestly, I can’t think of a better fundraiser they could have done for me,” said Goins.

As the owner and operator of Glory Beans, Goins often keeps her own great Dane, Moose, around the shop. In fact, a regular entourage of furry friends also comes by for visits and walks.

“Everyone knows (Connie’s) crazy about dogs, so we thought, what better way to support her than to do something with dogs,” said Laney.

However, it’s not just Goins’ furry neighbors that are lending a paw. From T-shirt sales, to a coffee delivery fundraisers, to gifts of books and candles, and a collection taken by her regulars, Goins’ customers and friends have touched her heart with their gifts and gestures over the past several months.

“I truly believe God knew I was going to need that and kept me here,” Goins said. “It’s like I’ve been here for the community and now the community has been here for me.”

Laney vouched for that. From helping homelessness initiatives like Soul Food, to offering her shop or counter space for innumerable fundraisers, to praying for customers and making time for strangers, Goins is well-loved for more than just her coffee, she detailed.

“It’s our turn to do something for her,” Laney said.

Anyone who wishes join in on that effort is welcome to sign up for the Pack Walk. Registration will be open through the morning of the event; no dogs are needed to participate.

To sign up call Laney at 704-875-8344. Registration is $20.

If the event goes well, Laney hopes to turn the Pack Walk into an annual event for other needs in the community.