CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – For a few hours this morning, a crowd gathered in the outfield at Joe Riley Stadium in downtown Charleston to laugh, cheer, and help bring awareness to a little girl in need.
“The Who Let The Dogs Out?” wiener dog races and costume contest was a fundraiser and awareness event for 10-year-old Mary Ashley Barbot. Young Barbot was born with Congenital Nephrodic Syndrome, so her kidneys have never worked the way they should have.
At two years old, she had a kidney transplant. Now she needs another because her body is rejecting that kidney.
That's where Saturday's day at the races came into play.
The event, organized by Jan Kirk and emceed by ABC News 4's Victoria Hansen, was designed to raise awareness for organ donation and maybe find Mary Ashley a suitable match. The money raised would go to support a donor with bills and expenses after the transplant surgery since that recovery process often takes months.
The races also had a much simpler goal of putting smiles on the faces of the Barbot family, a group who's traveled hours to and from a pediatric dialysis center because Charleston does not have one, who's spend sleepless nights watching over their daughter and sister.
That was a goal realized – it's hard not to smile and laugh when a dachshund in a pink dress races down a straightaway, oversized ears flopping, tail and tongue wagging.
Sure, the races had a few snags. There was the winner who decided the best route was to hop the fence and run along the outside of the track. There were the heats where the gate lifted and not a single dachshund left their
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