TOWANDA - Some dogs looked like they were getting an early start on Halloween Saturday at Riverfront Park in Towanda.

They donned costumes during the annual "Bark for Life" event to raise money for the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life."

Decked out in pink, Mellie, the "chair dog" of the event, was dressed up like a ballerina.

Her human companion, Karen Stroud of Durrell, stood by her side.

She was happy to take part in the cause, noting that she had both family members and pets who passed away from cancer.

The theme of the event was "Canines Care."

Two other dogs, Bobby and Benjamin, were dressed up like Superman and Batman, and won the costume contest.

Denise Greer and Clifford Holt, both of Sugar Run, brought the dogs to the event.

Greer enjoyed the contest, and was pleased that their pets won the prize.

"It was funny," she said. "We were happy."

Event organizer Roy Woodruff of Asylum Township, who started the Bark for Life in memory of his wife, Judy, who passed away from cancer in 2009, said the Bark for Life has grown over the years, and there were nearly 20 dogs taking part in the walk this year.

The dogs and their owners strolled from the park, across the bridge and back, for a total distance of a mile. Woodruff noted that sponsors provide both monetary and in-kind contributions for the event.

Proceeds are split between the Relays for Life in Wyalusing, western Bradford County, and Sullivan County. Woodruff said that at least $650 had been raised this year.

Mary Abell of Rome and her granddaughter, Kenna, showed up with their dogs.

"She was coming down for the weekend, and we wanted to do something different," Mary Abell said. She noted that they wanted to support the effort to find a cure for cancer. She said she had several family members who had suffered from cancer.

"So, we're barking for life," she commented.

Last year, the event had to be held elsewhere due to the flooding, but this year it returned to Riverfront Park.

Others taking part in the event included the Bradford County Humane Society, Joe Buttito with Mountain Haus Kennels, and Billy's Pets.

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: