Sarah's Cause Merchandise is here!

You can now support us by purchasing any of the following items from Cuddlebugs Dog Grooming in Vestal, NY. We are sorry, we currently do not support online sales - but we hope to at some point in the future. If you can’t make it to our physical location maybe come see us at any one of the events where we will be attending this year and selling items!

Full item list and prices are available on our Merchandise page. Thanks for your support!

Come See Sarah's Cause at the Following Events This Year!

We are excited to be part of the following events this year sharing Sarah’s story and selling items in support of Sarah’s Cause: Come see and support us - these are all great family and pet-friendly events to attend!

  • Paint Night at Vestal Elk’s Lodge #2508 on April 17th from 6pm - 8:30pm

  • Pet Photos w/ Easter Bunny at Cuddlebugs Dog Grooming on April 12th from 4pm - 8pm

  • Candor Daffodil Days in Candor, NY on May 4th, 2019 from 10am - 5pm

  • Busy Bird Fest in Berkshire, NY from July 11 - July 14th

  • Doggone Fun on the Run at Otsiningo Park on July 20th, 2019 from 10am - 1pm

  • Woofstock at the Broome County Humane Society on August 10th, 2019 from 12pm - 5pm

  • Ithaca Dog Fest at Allen Treman Park on August 17th, 2019 from 10am - 2pm

  • All Cause for a Paws at Otsiningo Park on September 15th, 2019 from 10am - 1pm

  • Dogfest at the Baltimore Humane Society (MD) on September 21st, 2019 from 10am - 4pm

And, of course, our very own event that takes place the first Saturday of October every year:

Don’t miss it!

Sepsis Awareness

Sarah & her sister Emily taken end of September 2013.

Sepsis.  How many of you have heard of this word?  I'll say it again - Sepsis.  I remember the day I first heard of this word and even then I didn't understand it.  Most people don't, I am still learning about it over 3 years later.  Sarah died of Sepsis on October 10, 2013.

I have gone through so many "what-if's" over the past few years, but one of the biggest ones is simply, "What if I was aware of what Sepsis was before and knew the signs?"  Sarah only started getting sick on the evening of October 8th, 2013, stayed home from school on the 9th due to the "stomach bug" - or so we thought.  But by the morning of October 10th, it was already too late when we took her to the ER.  There was nothing that could be done.  There was no lack of effort on behalf of the doctors as we had the support of 2 hospitals trying to save her life, it was simply too late.

  • For every hour Sepsis goes undiagnosed, the mortality rate increases by 8%.

  • There are far more deaths in the US from Sepsis than prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined.

  • ANYONE can get Sepsis: from the flu, a scrape on their arm, recent hospital stay, surgery, UTI, etc.

  • Sepsis is more common than a heart attack.

  • Sepsis is the final common pathway in the vast majority of deaths from infection worldwide. Think about that.

  • Sepsis is the leading cause of hospital deaths.

  • A new case of Sepsis occurs every few seconds.

Sepsis is a life threatening medical condition that arises from the body's attempt to fight an infection that causes the immune system to damage tissues and organs.  Being aware of the condition and acting quickly with antibiotics will save lives, but only if people, nurses and doctors are aware of this condition and can react quickly to it.  Time is against you when battling for survival when you have Sepsis.  It's of utmost importance to Suspect Sepsis when you have the following symptoms:

  • You are severely sick or you are not yourself

  • Overall general weakness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fever and chills

  • Thirst

  • Signs of worsening organ function:

    • Difficult or rapid breathing

    • Rapid heart rate

    • Low blood pressure

    • Low urine output

If any of these symptoms are present and there is a suspected infection of any kind, suspect Sepsis and seek medical attention immediately and inform your nurses/doctors of your concern of Sepsis.  

Sepsis can be prevented in most cases by preventing infections or treating them promptly. Remember to:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

  • Look for signs of skin breakdown and infection.

  • See your healthcare professional about any infections, ask if it could be sepsis and follow treatment plans as prescribed.

  • Stay current on vaccines.

Disclaimer: I am no doctor and don't claim to be.  I only repeat here what I have found online and in my experience of this life threatening or altering condition of Sepsis.  My daughter died of this condition and if only we knew what to look for and speak it's name soon enough, Sarah may still be alive today.  

It's my goal to bring awareness of Sepsis to as many people as I can.  Stay tuned for more information regarding Sepsis in the future.  Thank you.


Paws for a Cause In Memory Of Sarah Jayne Orton

This is the third year we are having an event in memory of my daughter, Sarah.  The start of the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation had humble beginnings and looking at what it has grown  to today - over $40,000 raised to benefit the Baltimore Humane Society is amazing.

Every year, this event grows and this year will be no different.  We are still adding fun things to do and the event starts in just over a week from today!  The event kicks off in Hickories Park in Owego, NY at 11am and ends at 3pm:

11:00am - 12:00pm: 1 Mile Dog Walk around the park
11:30am: New! Blessing of the Animals
12:00 - 3:00pm: New! Mathews Family Tradition - Live Bluegrass Music! (bring your lawn chairs)
12:30pm: K-9 Demo by Chavez and Dona!
1:00pm - 2:00pm: Nail Trimming (Donation)
1:30pm: New! Pet Contests (Oldest, Cutest, Halloween Costume, Best Trick, Pet/Owner Look-a-like)
2:00pm: Basket Raffle Winners picked and awarded

This is a FREE family-friendly event - so bring your whole family (that means your dog(s) too if you have one)!  Also new this year will be a Bounce House and Face Painting for the kids available all day! More than 20 vendors will be hand as well as a Food Truck from River Rock Diner.  There are 50+ baskets valued at over $2,000 to buy raffle tickets for to try and win. Something for everyone is available! 

If there is enough interest, we will also have a cornhole tournament in the afternoon.

MES Play Day - 2016

Sarah never got the chance to participate in a Play Day.  6 weeks of Kindergarten is all she experienced at Mechanicsville Elementary School. Enough to form bonds with friends and teachers that will be forever, but not enough. Never enough time.

Today (now Monday), I watched my oldest daughter, Emily, participate in her 4th Play Day at MES.  I love watching her have fun - she is a great kid (and fast - more on that later).  But today brought mixed emotions for me.

I should have been splitting my time watching BOTH my girls participate in this fun day at the end of another great school year at MES.  As I walked by the Kindergarten playground on the way to Emily's first event, there sits the bench that the school placed there in Sarah's memory. I knew she was there with me, I felt her presence.  

I took a "selfie" of Emily and I after she won her races as the fastest female in third grade (so proud of her) and as I looked down, I was again reminded that we were not alone, a shining light was with us.

Emily's class was "Team Blue" so obviously I wanted to represent the color as well.  What better shirt to wear than my blue "The Great 5k" shirt (more on this wonderful event that took place on Sarah's birthday in another post). The shirt that had Sarah's name on the shoulder.  

This was also the day we received our monthly update email from the Baltimore Humane Society showing the current status of donations to the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Fund.  I was proud to have seen a number that I could never imagine being raised - $36,564.  Thank you to all who have donated to the fund, both past and present.  Even a donation of $5 is appreciated - it adds up and goes to a great cause!  To see names on that spreadsheet, just melts my heart.  (Note: we do not receive the amount of each donation, just names that have donated in the month).

Sarah's bench at the Mechanicsville Elementary School Kindergarten Playground.

Emily was the fastest female in 3rd Grade!

Proud Moment

Again, thank you to all who donated to the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation in the month of May - it's our most important month.  Also, a BIG THANKS to Cuddlebugs Dog Grooming in Vestal, NY that donates a large check EVERY month.  Without them, the Foundation would not be where it is today.

First Day of School 2013

Upcoming Events

We have a few events planned in the coming weeks to let everyone aware of:

Friday, May 1st:  Sarah's bench dedication at Mechanicsville Elementary School.  The Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation will be hosting a Special Event Night at Player's FunZone in Westminster from 6-9pm that evening.  Mention Sarah and the foundation will receive 25% of the proceeds from the night.  We will also be raffling off a "Family Time" Basket with LOTS of fun activities to do as a family!

Saturday, May 30th: The 2nd Annual Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Walk will be held this year in Owego, NY at Hickories Park.  Register by May 3rd and be guaranteed a Free T-shirt!  Can't make it that day? Feel free to register anyway for the T-shirt and we will get it to you - leave a note in Special Instructions.  

There will be plenty to do - LOTS of Basket Raffles to take part in!  Go home with something special!  Bring your dog and get them a nail trim!  There will also be a place to get a special picture to take home with you as well.  Look forward to a K9 Demonstration - time to be determined.  Don't have a dog?  That's ok! Stray Haven will be there for adoptions!  

Bottom Line - if you own a dog, bring them to a day of fun at the Park. Don't own a dog?  Come on out anyway - you may go home with more than you thought!

Monday, May 25th: The Orton Family will be participating in a 5k and "Color Run" in Reisterstown, MD.  Come out and join us!  (Note: This event is not organized by us and 100% of proceeds raised goes towards youth missions for the Covenant of Grace Presbyterian Church).

Thank you everyone for supporting us and remembering Sarah!

Registration OPEN for the 2015 Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Walk!

The Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Walk will be held on May 30, 2015 at Hickories Park in Owego, NY (359 Hickories Park Rd, Owego, NY 13827).  Bring your dog for a fun walk that will be approximately 1 mile long starting at 12:00 pm.  

All proceeds will benefit the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation at the Baltimore Humane Society. You can register one of 2 ways  - Online at or by visiting Cuddlebugs Dog Grooming located at 2101 Vestal Pakwy W, Vestal, NY 13850. The registration is $25.00, including a free t-shirt if you register before May 3, 2015. You will also be able to register the day of the walk from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. 

We are accepting donations if anyone would like to donate a basket or items to be raffled off, please contact Nicole at  Cuddlebugs Dog Grooming will be on site for dog nail trims for a donation.  More details on other activities planned for the day coming soon. Hope to see you all there!

Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Walk - 2014

Last year on Saturday May 17, 2014 we held the first annual Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Walk at the Sandymount Park located in Finksburg, Maryland. Golf Zoo help sponsor the event. We raised close to $4,000 for the Baltimore Humane Society. It was a beautiful day with many people and their dogs and rainbow colors everywhere you looked. The Baltimore Humane Society had an information table set up and dogs up for adoption. There was also a basket raffle which included items for kids, pool fun, cooking, pet themed baskets, etc.

We would like to thank all of our family and friends who help put the event together the morning of the walk: Ellen Bowersox, Meghan Bowersox, Ethel Orton, Robin Applegarth, Ashley Applegarth, Macie Maybury, Vonnie Ellis, Brooke and Mike Phayre, Heather and Heidi Sedlacek, Bonnie and Roy Mathews, Karen and Cal Mathews.