Rancho Mirage’s Westin Mission Hills Hosts “Paws & Hearts” Benefit

To say that Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa is Fido-friendly is quite the understatement. First off, dogs up to 40 pounds are welcome to stay with their owners who are guests of the hotel sans surcharge. And once checked in to their luxurious rooms, the pets will sleep on Westin’s signature Heavenly® Dog Bed. Come dinner time, canines may accompany their masters on the patio at Pinzimini and the Fireside Lounge, where a special menu of dog-appropriate snacks and meals await. Finally, when high season rolls around, so does Paws on the Patio, a weekly outdoor event where resort guests as well as members of the community congregate al fresco for a happy hour replete with half-price cocktails for bipeds, and complimentary bowls of water (and maybe a surprise snack!) for their four-legged best friends.

As if all this wasn’t enough, the Westin is again hosting non-profit Paws & Hearts’ 15th annual dog walk and fundraiser. The charity—which boasts 35 volunteer teams each of which consists of one human and one therapy canine—coordinates weekly visits to various hospitals, long-term care facilities, and cancer centers throughout the Palm Springs Valley, including Rancho Mirage’s very own Lucy Curci Cancer Center at Eisenhower Medical Center.

The event—for which the Westin donates its space and services—works like this: Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 28, for walkers who have raised donations in their dog’s name. Each participant receives a commemorative dog walk t-shirt, a dog bandana, doggie treats, and continental breakfast. The two-mile walk itself starts at 10:00 a.m., follows a resplendant route on resort grounds, and has clear markers as well as regular water and doggy relief stations. Not only will KMIR news anchor Dan Ball serve as grand marshal, Santa Claus will also make a very special appearance, posing with pooches who are craving a holiday photo with the big guy in the red suit (solo, or with their humans). Oh, and don’t forget the raffling off of gift certificates and gift baskets.

Organizers always plan on receiving some 250 walkers, and this year expect even more. For more information, or to register you and your strutting mutt as walkers, please visit www.pawsandhearts.org. The minimum donation is $25, with most walkers and pups bringing in much, much more.

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