Purchase photos

Dog park gets boost from FHSU students




Friends of the Hays Dog Park got their paws on a donation for their canine playground.

The Management 623 class within Fort Hays State University's Tourism and Hospitality Management program presented the group a check for $1,646.16. The 27 students worked in three teams to host events throughout the semester to raise awareness and money for the park.

The class organized a dog wash in September, invited dogs to an October FHSU soccer game and had a chili cook-off in November.

Stacey Smith, THM's director, said the course challenges students to apply the principles they learn through service-learning projects.

Aside from the experience of event planning, the class connected the students to Hays.

"A lot of them aren't local, some are, but the majority of them aren't," Smith said. "It's a great way for them to get involved in the community where they're at and give back."

The dog park is expected to open in March or April. The next phase of construction will install an agility course for dogs that will allow the pets to jump and exercise. Picnic tables and a shelter also will be built.

Smith plans on bringing her Shih Tzu/poodle mix, Zoey, to the park when it opens.

Laurie Mortinger, vice president of the group, said, "They were very professional. I was at all the events they did, and I think they did a very good job running them."

Nikki Rabe, FHSU senior from Dodge City, said, "We raised a lot more than we thought we would. It was good to contribute to the community while actually participating in classes."