Fonner Park press release
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – 60 years ago, a trio of Nebraskans shared a passion and a vision. They understood the important role that dogs play in the lives of individuals and communities. They wanted to share their expertise in training and showing beautiful purebred dogs with others. As a result of the efforts of this group, the Grand Island Kennel Club (GIKC) was formed.
The Grand Island Kennel Club invites the public to join them as they return to Fonner Park April 16-17 for the AKC All Breed Dog Show, Obedience & Rally Trials. The show will take place at the Fonner Park-Pinnacle Bank Expo Center. All shows will be held indoors and without a bench, with all obedience and rally trials open to All-American dogs listed in the AKC Canine Partners program. The public is encouraged to come early in the day if they expect to see their favorite breed. Judging of all breeds begins at 9:00 a.m. and groups are held in the afternoon. Doors open to the public at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. Admission will be $5 per day for adults, children 12 and under are free. All tickets will be sold at the door. Strollers and unregistered dogs are not permitted for this event.
The Grand Island Kennel Club purchased land, including a lake, where they built a clubhouse. Families have enjoyed camping, picnicking and fishing at the club as well as working with their dogs over the years. The building fell victim to the 1980 tornado but was rebuilt in the same footprint as the original, and is now home to countless courtyards and other activities.
The GIKC has been an important part of Grand Island and Hall County since its inception. Community members realized that “a trained dog is a good dog” and brought their pets to the Kennel Club for obedience training, filling classes year after year. Dogs are trained at the Club to be certified “Good Canine Citizens” recognized nationally. Newer programs such as rally and agility provide a fun and healthy activity for dog owners of all ages. Top quality purebred dogs continue to be trained to compete in conformation shows some of which GIKC dogs have gained national prominence for their local breeders and owners.
Working with local youth, particularly through 4-H, has always been important to the Club. Members have helped hundreds of 4-H’s train, exhibit and learn to care for their dogs, providing a healthy environment and positive role models. Many educational programs related to dogs have been organized for the public over the years. GIKC members regularly take dogs to schools, scout meetings, veterans’ homes and retirement homes for demonstrations. Additionally, specially trained and certified dogs provide comforting hospice-based therapy to patients. Kennel Club members helped found the Central Nebraska Humane Society in 1967, along with the adjacent pet cemetery, which benefits the people of central Nebraska.