ORANGE PARK – Hogs for Dogs is a Clay County Humane Society fundraiser that will see lovers of dogs and motorcycles unite in an effort to raise money for the organization’s many low-cost veterinary services but this year, Clay Humane reached out to high schoolers for help.
For the past seven years of the popular motorcycle run, Hogs for Dogs participants received a T-shirt designed by Clay Humane or by someone hired by the nonprofit. For its eighth year, though, Hogs for Dogs and Clay Humane held a T-shirt design contest which enlisted all high schoolers in the county to submit their winning design. The payoff was a $100 check.
“This is our eighth year doing Hogs for Dogs but this is also the Clay Humane Society’s 40th anniversary so we are trying to do different things to celebrate and one of those things was to hold a T-shirt contest for our high school students in the community,” Clay Humane Director Linda Welzant said. “The winning design will be on our Hogs for Dogs t-shirt this year.”
About 150 motorcycle lovers will wear the winning T-shirt design not only have a passion for the open road on their bikes, but a passion for dogs and Clay Humane’s support of them. Planned for March 24, riders will pay a $30 registration fee and lift their kickstands at 10:30 a.m. at the Adamec Harley Davidson on Wells Road where they will ride 125 miles of Northeast Florida highways. They’ll end the run at Whitey’s Fish Camp on Fleming Island with the first of the riders arriving between 3 and 4 p.m. Here, they’ll be treated to a fish dinner, cash prizes awarded to highest and lowest dice roll totals, raffle prizes and live music.
Who is the person responsible for the t-shirt all 150 of these riders will be wearing? St. Johns Country Day School senior Troy Britts. Often seen on the baseball field, Britts found himself in an art class for his final year of high school for a reason most high school understand.
“To be honest, I’m mostly taking [Art] to boost my GPA but it’s also something I really enjoy,” Britts said.
Britts learned of the contest after his art teacher, Pam Ayres, told the class that they needed to participate in either the annual Concert on the Green or this T-shirt design contest. Not so well-versed in the world of musical performance, the design contest was the obvious choice, according to Britts.
Britts’ winning design features his beagle, Buddy, atop what Britts calls a classic Harley-Davidson motorcycle, with the words “Clay Humane Hogs For Dogs” and the date of the event mixed into the art.
“I looked at the old T-shirt design from last year and saw that it was an old motorcycle with a dog riding it and I thought, ‘man, that’s a little cartoon-y,’ so I tried to put a little more realism into it,” Britts said of his hand-drawn art piece. “I took a motorcycle from Harley Davidson and put Buddy on top of the seat.”
While the T-shirts aren’t printed and available for viewing, Welzant said the shirts will also serve to show support for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Our shirts will not only be celebrating Hogs for Dogs but also the wonderful Jags football season,” Welzant said, remarking that the decision was made between the Board Chair and herself.
The T-shirts with Britts’ winning design will be unveiled the morning of the fundraiser before the riders depart. For more information on how to get involved, Welzant recommends visiting the Clay Humane website or coming out March 24 to support the Hogs for Dogs fundraiser, which funds low-cost and free spaying and neutering services for cats and dogs at its Filmore Street clinic.