Coolest Dog Contest to support Shenandoah Valley childcare initiative

Coolest Dog Contest to support Shenandoah Valley childcare initiative

SHENANDOAH VALLEY, Va. - The pandemic is putting new pressures on people, especially working families with little ones. Some help is on the way in the valley thanks to an effort called C4, but not without support from the Kiwanis Club and man’s best friend.

A contest in the Shenandoah Valley involving man’s best friend aims to be a fun distraction from politics and the pandemic while also helping area families.

The C4 childcare initiative is helping more and more families, and that requires resources, both financial and human.

“We are currently serving, I believe, 163 kids,” said Kristi Williams, President, and CEO of United Way SAW.

C4 stands for Creative Collaborative Coalition for Childcare. It’s made up of community partners addressing a childcare shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In just two months' time, C4 has grown from having two childcare locations to five, including Augusta Expo in Fishersville. There’s another one ready to go in downtown Staunton as soon as they have the staffing, including lead teachers and teacher aides. But with 55 children on the waitlist, Williams says the greatest challenge remains staffing.

“If we can just increase our staffing a bit more I believe that the abilities to clear off that waitlist, and take on any more families as the new school semester starts,” stated Williams. “I anticipate there being an increase in need for particularly after school programs.”

“Recently we learned about this very vital, and serious need that working families are facing during the COVID pandemic," Faye Cooper with the Shenandoah Valley Kiwanis Club said. "So we decided to take this on as a fundraising project.”

Now, the Kiwanis Club holding a contest, Coolest Dog in the Shenandoah Valley, a fundraiser for C4.

“In these days of high anxiety and challenges that we really wanted to do something fun,” said

Williams says that fundraisers like the Coolest Dog Contest help subsidize childcare costs so parents aren’t forced to choose between staying home with their kids and work.

“C4 would not exist without the help and cooperation of civic clubs like the Shenandoah Valley Kiwanis Club,” said Williams. “It’s the heartbeat of C4 is the community involvement.”

Information about C4 is available at

The Coolest Dog Contest runs to December 4. To enter, go to:

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