Will you walk half-nude in the cold to protest animal cruelty?

If so, then you might want to participate in the Tamaqua YMCA's first annual 'Winter Walk For Animals' scheduled for next Saturday (Feb. 23) in Tamaqua.

"The free event doesn't require any pre-registration and is being held to protest winter and weather-related cruelty to animals," said coordinator Andrew Leibenguth. "All individuals, groups or organizations (no matter what community or state your are from) are encouraged to participate or help in the walk."

He added that all walkers are asked, but not required, to wear swimming shorts, bikinis, bathing suits, body paint or funny costumes.

All walkers and participants should be inside the Tamaqua YMCA no later that 8:45 AM for the 9 a.m. kick-off.

"For the welfare and safety of all the walkers, no pets are allowed in the walk," added Leibenguth. "We are suffering so they don't have to."

Anyone 17 or under must be accompanied by or in the immediate vicinity of a parent or guardian.

The one-mile 20-minute walk will start at our Tamaqua YMCA (1201 East Broad Street) and end at the Tamaqua Area Adult Day Care Center (300 West Broad Street). They will have their doors open for walkers to warm up and use the bathroom.

The Tamaqua YMCA bus and other volunteers will be providing free shuttles back and forth to the YMCA following the event.

Leibenguth stressed, "If walkers and spectators want, they can donate to any local pet organizations that are on-hand during the walk."

The snow/rain date is Saturday, March 9 at 9 AM.

For more information, contact Leibenguth via Facebook, andyleibenguth@tamaquaarea.com, (570) 668-1234 or visit the event's website www.WinterWalkForAnimals.com