Donkey Dash hopes to honor cancer survivors

By Rebecca Fiedler

This weekend, people who wish to raise money in support of cancer patients can do so in a unique way — by running and spending time with miniature donkeys.

The American Cancer Society in Waco will host their first ever Donkey Dash, which is a 5K marathon, from 7 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the McLennan Community College Highlander Ranch on 223A Cobbs Ln., . Contestants can eat breakfast tacos, visit a corral of miniature donkeys and run or walk in honor of someone who has battled with cancer. Contestants may register at the event. The 5K run is $30 and the one-mile run is $25. Children may participate in the one mile run for $20.

According to, the miniature donkeys will be “fun and delightful, yes, but more importantly, reminding us of peace.”

Cherise Myatt, community manager of distinguished events for the American Cancer Society in Waco, said the American Cancer Society used to have a similar event in Waco, but it was with a corral of bulls instead of donkeys. That changed, Myatt said, when one year the bulls escaped from their pen. Now miniature donkeys owned by the Waco American Cancer Society event chairman, Duane Sulak, will be present for the event instead of bulls.

“We thought that was cute because it kind of blends in with the theme of MCC Highlander Ranch and the Cattle Baron’s Ball,” Myatt said.

There will be a live DJ at the run and food and drinks at the finish line, Myatt said. Everyone who signs up will also get a Donkey Dash t-shirt, which is included in the registration fee.

“Basically it’s a 5K/one-mile fun run, just like any other general 5K or one mile, but we’re going to add just a little bit of flare with the miniature donkeys,” Myatt said.

There will be an awards ceremony with medals for the winners of the run, Myatt said.

“Another thing we’re encouraging people to do is get a group of your friends together and run in honor or in memory of somebody who has faced cancer,” Myatt said.

Right now, around 100 runners and walkers are signed up and a lot of people will sign up on the day of the event, she said.

Last weekend the American Cancer Society had a skeet shoot event in Waco, Myatt said, and they were worried about the turnout to the event because of the recent tragedy in West, but the turnout was, in her opinion, good. The American Cancer Society in Waco raised over $5,000 that day, Myatt said. In light of these results, she isn’t expecting the West tragedy to keep participants from joining the Donkey Dash.