Garrettsville – Whether you’re simply looking for a great deal, or you’re passionate about rescuing injured greyhound race dogs, you’ll want to attend Freeway’s Greyt Escape Benefit Yard Sale & Raffle at 10555 South Street, 9am-3pm, the weekend of September 19, 20 and 21.

Organized by greyhound rescue advocate Diana DiLoreto, 100% of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Freeway Fund. This is a not-for-profit entity named for her adopted greyhound, “Freeway,” who was rescued from a Florida interstate after escaping a race transport vehicle and spending 13 hours on the road, where he suffered injuries to 80% of his body, plus the effects of extreme heat and dehydration.

The Freeway Fund was initially established by the Gold Coast Greyhound Association (GCGA). Proceeds from the yard sale benefit will help provide initial emergency medical attention to injured racing greyhounds like Freeway, which typically costs $800-$1,500 simply to repair a broken leg.

DiLoreto, who resides half the year in Garrettsville and the other half in Fort Myers, says that greyhound racing is a legal and popular betting sport in Florida and six additional states:  Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia. While in the past 10 years, 11 states have banned greyhound racing altogether, Florida is the largest racing state with 13 racing tracks.

DiLoreto explains that while greyhound racing is big business in the gambling industry, it’s also a sport with dogs running around the track at speeds around 40 mph, so injuries are not uncommon. “In which case, Freeway’s Greyt Escape and the Freeway Fund’s purpose is to assist with the medical expenses involved by paying for the initial emergency medical treatment and thus allowing the rescuers to help save a retired racing greyhound. As this initial expense to the charity can be anywhere from $800 to $1,500, it will take a great deal of community support to help save just one greyhound.”

And what make greyhounds so special? In general, greyhounds are an increasingly popular pedigreed show dog and family pet. It is a gentle and intelligent breed that typically becomes attached to its owners. DiLoreto describes the greyhound personality as “happy, defiant, lovable, carefree, undemanding and expressive. They love to run and they steal your heart!”

Biologically, greyhounds are considered life savers because they have no inherent diseases and are universal blood donors, able to provide blood to all 400 breeds of dogs. Greyhounds are an ancient breed that shed only minimally, have no dander or oils, and simply don’t smell ‘doggy’! As far as DiLoreto is concerned, they’re the perfect breed; most likely the first dog of Creation named by Adam himself.

DiLoreto launched and a FaceBook page in June to get the word out and start gathering funds for the Freeway Fund. Freeway’s Greyt Escape Benefit Yard Sale & Raffle is expected to generate substantial additional seed money for the nonprofit. Once the fund covers the initial medical costs for an injured race greyhound, then the dog will be eligible for foster care and adoption anywhere in the country.

In June, DiLoreto introduced Freeway to the community during Summerfest. For months, DiLoreto has been accumulating sale items from different areas in a 50-mile radius, saying “response has been amazing.” If anyone would like to make a tax-deductible contribution or donate volunteer hours to Freeway’s Greyt Escape Benefit Yard Sale & Raffle, call DiLoreto at (330) 527-2276 or (239) 470-6429.