BRENTWOOD -- By putting man's best friend center stage, organizers hope it will shed some serious light on cancer.

The Bark for Life event July 26 will be festive, fun, activity-packed and filled with community spirit.

"It is really a blast," said Sharon Joseph, the event chairwoman.

In its third year, the American Cancer Society fundraiser is set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Streets of Brentwood shopping center.

The annual gathering hopes to fare even better than previous years.

"Last year was everything I had hoped for; everyone had a fun time," Joseph said.

In 2013, the one-day event raised about $7,000, and the hope is to meet -- or surpass -- that amount.

Last year, there were about "75 furry participants."

"We expect at least the same but because this is an annual event, we're hoping we can double the attendance," Joseph said.

Joseph said she initially got involved because of her love of dogs. And for the past 10 years, she's volunteered for Brentwood's Relay for Life weekend gathering.

"Unfortunately, I've lost three dogs to cancer, so this is a vital cause that is very dear to my heart."

She said the Bark for Life idea blossomed from the yearly Relay for Life.

"I am a cancer survivor myself, and if we can reach out and make one person's life or one person's dog's life a little better, then we all have won."

She added that the Bark events are held annually across the country.

The local event will include goody bags for all four-legged participants, dog relay races, a dog costume contest, a musical "sit" for the dogs and a best dog trick contest. Prizes are awarded in all categories.

Joseph said there will also be wading pools for the cute canines to keep cool, a free photo of each barker and raffle prizes for the human companions.

In addition, a variety ofmaking activities will be held, along with music, dog-rescue groups and other community services.

One of the most entertaining offerings may be the demonstration by Sammy Davis, the national Frisbee champion dog.

To register, visit www.relayforlife.org/barkbrentwoodca or at the event. The fee is $10. The Streets of Brentwood is at 2565 Sand Creek Road. For more information, email golden4me@att.net.

Reach Trine Gallegos at TrineG@att.net

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