Dogs will have their day at Monroe farm

‘Dogtoberfest’ to raise money for breast cancer research


MONROE — Oktoberfest celebrations like the one held Sunday in the township tend to be more for humans, but now there is also one for their canine friends.

On Nov. 8, Etsch Farms will be the site of “Dogtoberfest,” an event organized by employees of Loreal USA, with all proceeds benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

Dogs and their owners will be able to make their way through the Etsch Farms corn maze and go on hayrides. Those who don’t have a dog may be able to find their new best friend at one of the many rescue groups that will be represented with dogs available for adoption.

Richard Werner of Old Bridge, vice president of distribution at Loreal, is among the organizers of “Dogtoberfest” and is the owner of an adopted deaf dachshund.

Werner noted that each August for the past six years, Loreal has sponsored a “Your Dog Is Worth It Too” day at its Cranbury facility. This year, the event raised $101,000 for the Komen Foundation. In the years since its inception, the event has raised a total of $386,000 for the organization.

“I hope by next year it will be half a million,” Werner said.

The Komen Foundation was chosen as beneficiary after two Loreal employees passed away from breast cancer. Their colleagues wanted to do something to honor their memory.

The idea for “Dogtoberfest” came about because the August event was so successful, and employees thought it would be good to have a smaller event in the fall, Werner said.

“People don’t have that many places to take their dogs these days,” he said.

There are no fundraising goals for the first “Dogtoberfest,” he said.

About 12 to 14 rescue groups will be on hand for the event. A small dog park will be set up, and pooches can splash around in a pool before going through a dog wash.

Caroline Etsch, co-owner of the farm, said the farm has supplied the hay for the hay maze each year at the “Your Dog Is Worth It Too” event.

“Rich Werner and Ginny Werner thought of the idea [for ‘Dogtoberfest’], and we are happy to host the dog-friendly maze at our farm this year,” Etsch said. “We hope to raise some money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and hope to help provide another quality day to dog lovers and their hairy friends.”

“Dogtoberfest” will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the last entry into the corn maze at 4 p.m. Corn maze entry is $10 per person; dogs are free. Hayrides are $3 for two people and one dog, or two for $5. Food will be provided by local vendors. Customized Loreal doggie bags are available with paid admission into the corn maze, and there are limited $25 patron bags available.

Etsch Farms is located at 556 Buckalew Ave. in Monroe.