Beefy the Skateboarding Bulldog to Roll Across USA in Breast Cancer Fight
The owners of the Upper West Side pooch, who became an internet sensation last year after videos of his skating prowess went viral, are planning to take their four-legged pal on a cross-country tour to raise money to fight the deadly ailment.
Patrick and Erin Clemens launched an Indiegogo campaign earlier this month to help raise $200,000 to fund "Beefy Skates the Nation," which will support Boarding for Breast Cancer, a non-profit that works to increase awareness about breast cancer and teach women potentially life-saving self-examination and early-detection techniques.
Of course, Beefy won't literally be skating across the country — the Clemenses plan to take him on a road trip, stopping in various cities and using the pup's shredding skills to draw crowds while Boarding for Breast Cancer teaches cancer education.
Although the number of cities Beefy will visit is dependent on the amount of money they raise, the Clemenses currently plan to take him to Miami, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Ocean City, Minneapolis and Washington D.C.
"Cancer awareness is a heavy topic," said Patrick, 40. "We want to bring Beefy along for comic relief, so people can still smile about things."
The disease is close to home with the Clemenses — Patrick's wife, Erin, 29, was diagnosed with the ailment four years ago. Erin, who works for a financial firm, successfully fought the disease and is currently cancer-free. Patrick's mother Louise, also survived the disease.
"A lot of young women get breast cancer at an early age," said Patrick, who added that over 40,000 women under that age develop cancer each year.
The couple plan to give $50,000 of the donations to Boarding for Breast Cancer if they reach the $200,000 goal. If they receive less, they still plan to contribute a "significant amount."
They also plan to produce a documentary of Beefy's travels and interactions with people at the cancer education sessions with the money.
Patrick, who works in IT, adopted Beefy, 5, when the bulldog was 12 weeks old. The dog, who is docile when not on his board, first started skating at four months when Patrick bought him a $10 board.
"I brought it out to the back patio and Beefy kinda went nuts," Patrick said. "He started to put one foot on top of the skateboard and start to push it along."
By eight months, all four feet were on the board and Beefy was rolling.
Today, Beefy still sticks to a regular schedule of skateboarding, hitting the streets almost every day in the spring and fall.
But he rides a little less in the summertime because of the heat. Bulldogs are succeptible to heat stroke, and both of Beefy's parent's died of heat exhaustion.
Beefy rose to fame last spring when he made an appearance on the "Dr. Oz Show."
Since then, he has been featured in commercials for Jimmy Choo handbags, appeared on Reality TV show "Dogs in the City" and has even received his own custom skateboard sponsored by Blue Sky Longboards.
But now, as Beefy's fame grows, the Clemenses hope it can help out a cause they believe in.
"We're still trying to grow Beefy's brand," Patrick Clemens admitted, "but we want to do something good."