15th Annual Wag-O-Ween to Be Held Despite Recent Death of Event Creator

Staff Report

Friday, August 28th, 2020

The 15th annual Wag-O-Ween pet trick-or-treating event will be held this year on October 24 & 25 despite the death of local businesswoman and event creator, Sara Portman. Portman recently succumbed to her battle with lung cancer before she could see Wag-O-Ween’s 15th year fulfilled, but her friends at The Hipster Hound and Renegade Paws Rescue are taking over this year’s preparations per her wishes.

The Sara Portman Community Fund

In honor of Portman, the new organizers have established the Sara Portman Community Fund. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Wag-O-Ween and all future events will go to this fund for community spay/neutering, education, and more. The remaining money raised will continue to support local animal rescues in their mission to place animals in “furever” homes and support community education efforts.

“We wanted to make this year’s Wag-O-Ween even more meaningful and special to honor Sara,” said Tonya Rintye of The Hipster Hound. “Without her, this incredible fundraiser wouldn’t exist in the first place.”

About Wag-O-Ween 2020

The 15th annual Wag-O-Ween will be a family- and pet-friendly fundraising event taking place in Downtown Savannah and attracting over 1,000 participants with their furry friends. Humans and animals alike will dress up in Halloween costumes and follow their event maps to over 100 businesses giving out dog treats and goodies. There will also be a costume contest, raffle, and photography stations as part of the event.

Changes to Wag-O-Ween

Because of COVID-19, Wag-O-Ween will take place over two days this year on Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25 from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. to allow for fewer crowds each day. All human participants will also be required to wear face coverings at all times during the event per city ordinance.

“Our thought is that half of the participants will come on Saturday and the other half on Sunday so everyone is more spread out,” explained Rintye. “We hope these precautions will keep all participants safe and healthy.”

In addition, the registration and pick-up process will be completely streamlined this year. Participants can register and donate ahead of time on the Wag-O-Ween website at www.wagoween.org. During the week of the event, participants can pick up their supplies at multiple locations throughout Savannah including establishments in Habersham Village, Sandfly, and Isle of Hope.

“The idea is to eliminate everyone congregating around one pick-up location the day of the event,” described Rintye. “By registering online and picking everything up beforehand, humans and their pets can start their trick-or-treating right when they leave the house!”

To learn more about Wag-O-Ween registration, locations, and sponsorship opportunities, visit the Wag-O-Ween website at www.wagoween.org. The website will be updated frequently as more details are determined closer to the event.