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Warrior Canine Connection Newsletter - November 2014

Six teams graduated from the Warrior Canine Connection program on Oct. 25, 2014.
The Warrior Canine Connection Class of 2014
On October 25, Warrior Canine Connection was proud to graduate six new teams during a special ceremony in Gaithersburg, MD. The event was attended by more than 300 Warrior Canine Connection supporters and honored guests, including Vice Admiral Matthew Nathan, Surgeon General of the Navy, who served as keynote speaker.

The graduation was also attended by Maryland Secretary of Veterans Affairs Edward Chow, Jr.; CAPT Sara Kass, Deputy Commander, National Intrepid Center of Excellence and  Special Assistant to the Commander, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; and CAPT Robert Koffman who, with Service Dog Ron, was one of the graduating teams of 2013.

The audience included some of the hundreds of Warrior Trainers who have socialized and trained WCC dogs at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Walter Reed-Bethesda, Fort Belvoir, NeuroRestorative, and WCC's Brookeville Healing Quarters. 

A special highlight of the ceremony came from Christina Foliente, wife of Staff Sergeant Rodney Foliente, U.S. Army (Ret.). At last year's graduation, the Foliente family received Military Family Support Dog "Cadence." Ms. Foliente spoke movingly about the positive changes the entire family has experienced in the last year as a result of their partnership with Cadence. 

The 2014 graduating teams include: 
  • Katie Gorman and Facility Dog Breeze, who will work at NeuroRestorative rehabilitation center for recovering Warriors in Germantown, MD
  • Sheila Consaul and Therapy Dog Lucy, who work in the Red Cross Therapy Dog Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD
  • LT Thomas Faulkenberry, USCG and Service Dog Sam
  • Corporal Nickolas Gervasoni, USMC, Ret. and Service Dog Penny
  • Senior Airman James Hill, USAF, Ret. and Service Dog Abby
  • Captain Jason Pak, USA, Ret. and Service Dog Indy
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many, many volunteers and supporters who worked long hours behind the scenes to make the graduation such a success! The entire graduation ceremony can be viewed on YouTube's Warrior Canine Connection channel. 
 
New in This Issue: Volunteer Spotlight
 
We couldn't accomplish all that we do without our passionate, dedicated volunteers. Starting in this issue of the Warrior Canine Connection newsletter, we will be profiling some of the people who accomplish extraordinary things because of their belief in the mission. 

This month we feature long-distance volunteers who may not be able to spend their days providing support in Brookeville or Germantown, but who make a difference in the lives of Warriors from their own hometowns.


 


Alyssa Malaspina

 
When Warrior Canine Connection participated in the Veterans Charity Challenge II on Crowdrise this summer, our success in raising more than $100,000 was largely due to the tireless efforts of Alyssa Malaspina.

Alyssa is an important part of the WCC team who not only focuses her talents on fundraising strategies and campaigns, but is one of the administrators who regularly creates whimsical and heartwarming posts for our popular Facebook page. We asked Alyssa why she devotes so much of her time and energy to Warrior Canine Connection, and here is what she said:

"Finding WCC and being given the opportunity to contribute as a volunteer has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. I am continuously in awe and inspired by the Veterans WCC serves. These men, women, and their families have made tremendous sacrifices for freedoms that I benefit from daily as a citizen in this amazing country.  

"The word commitment means dedication to a cause and I feel completely dedicated to assisting WCC in any meaningful way possible. Many of my contributions as a volunteer have only been accomplished because of the assistance of WCC's larger group of supporters and I am inspired by those individuals as well. 
Greg Louganis said 'Never underestimate your ability to make someone else's life better-even if you never know it.'

"I love this organization and I value its work.  It's not important for me to know exactly how my contributions can impact WCC, it's enough to know that if my contributions can one day impact the life of a Veteran in even the smallest way, then that would be a privilege that I would be tremendously grateful for."


Thank you, Alyssa, for all that you do for WCC!

Kearney Cares

On Monday, October 14, Kearney & Company, P.C. hosted its seventh annual Golf Tournament at International Country Club in Fairfax, VA. All proceeds from the day were donated to Warrior Canine Connection to support our programs -- for a total of $25,000. Thank you, Kearney and Company, and thank you to WCC Board Member Kyle Richards, Ph.D. for your support!
 
The 2015 Warrior Canine Connection calendar is now available! Order yours at the WCC Store. All of the profits from calendar sales benefit Warrior Canine Connection.

This year, in addition to purchasing calendars, you can choose to donate one or more to the Warriors who work with WCC dogs in our training locations! Should you choose to donate, the shipping fees will be waived. 
Puppy Watch!

The next litter of WCC's purpose-bred Labrador Retrievers is due before the end of November. Olive, whose last litter was the Honor Litter, is our proud mother to be. 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest news as her due date approaches. In mid-December, we'll announce puppy petting hours and sign up opportunities! If you're near our Healing Quarters in Brookeville, it promises to be a fun way to spend the new year!
 


We're excited to let you know that we're part of the CrowdRise Giving Tower Holiday Challenge. The Holiday Challenge is a friendly fundraising competition launched by craigconnects, Fred and Joanne Wilson and MacAndrews & Forbes. To give back, they will be donating $250,000 to charitable organizations this holiday season. The organization that raises the most during the Challenge will receive a $100,000 donation to their cause. Second place will win $50,000, third $25,000, fourth $10,000 and fifth place will receive a $5000 donation to their cause. 

We're out to raise as much money as possible for Warrior Canine Connection so we can win the $100,000 grand prize donation. We think we can win, and to do so, we definitely need your help!

This time, we're looking for our supporters to go one step further than donating and to actually fundraise for our campaign. Imagine the impact we can have if each of our supporters got their friends and family to donate to our cause!

The campaign kicks off on Tuesday, November 25 -- watch our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter (@WarriorCanineCn) for additional information on how you can help!
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Terrie Bates

When it comes to supporting Warrior Canine Connection, Terrie's enthusiasm and dedication knows no boundaries. She has been instrumental in enlisting support for WCC among her colleagues at the South Florida Water Management District and her community by organizing fundraising events and benefits.

Over a six-month period, Terrie and her colleagues raised money for WCC through a dog walk, a Warrior Canine "Coin-nection" Wishing Well, a family bowling benefit, 2015 WCC calendar sales, a bake sale, a yard sale, and a large, 165-item silent auction held in conjunction with her agency's October Governing Board Meeting. Special guests at the meeting (pictured above) included WCC Puppy Parents Sandy Rosenberg (l) and Janet Lally (r), along with WCC's Derek and Huff. (That's Terrie standing in the middle.) In all, $45,500 was raised. Why, we asked Terrie, does she do it?

"I’m came for the puppies, I stayed for the mission.

"I’m one of many who was first to drawn to Warrior Canine Connection through the explore.org live puppy cam. Along with a large on-line community of puppy watchers, we learned together about the healing these young dogs bring to their Warrior Trainers every day and the profound, life changing impact when paired with their forever Soldier.

"I’ve long felt we failed an entire generation of Vietnam-era Veterans who served when called but came home unsupported, suffering with undiagnosed and untreated post-traumatic stress disorder. We know better now, so it is up to us as a nation to DO better by our Veterans.   Volunteering (mostly long distance) with Warrior Canine Connection is one small way to honor those who have served and sacrificed so much for our country."


Thank you, Terrie!


Second Annual "Paws to Honor" Held at Menlo Park VA

On November 8, Veterans and members of the community visited the Welcome Center where Warrior Canine Connection's West Coast Program is headquartered. The second annual Veterans celebration featured special guests, food, live music, service dog demonstrations, and much more. 

Warrior Canine Connection would like to thank all who participated, including Gold Star Mothers, Heroes Voices, Pin Ups for Vets, and Noe Valley Bakery, who donated cupcakes and is currently featuring a special Warrior Canine Connection cake as part of their store window display in San Francisco. 



Veterans pose with WCC's Cavit during the Paws to Honor event
WCC on the Red Carpet at Stand Up for Heroes

Service Dog Training Instructor Marshall Peters and WCC service dog in training Lundy were guests of honor at the Bob Woodruff Foundation's Stand Up for Heroes benefit concert in New York City on November 5. The event, which is hosted annually by the New York Comedy Festival, featured Jon Stewart, Louis C.K., John Oliver, Jim Gaffigan, and a concert by Bruce Springsteen. Warrior Canine Connection Executive Director Rick Yount and Huff were also guests at the benefit, which raised $6 million to support Veterans. You can learn more about the Bob Woodruff Foundation here



At the Stand Up for Heroes Benefit in New York City. Left to Right, Lee Woodruff, Bob Woodruff, Foundation Executive Director Anne Marie Dougherty, and Marshall Peters.

Warrior Canine Connection is supported in part by a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation. 
Matching Grant Challenge: Time is Running Out!

Between now and the end of 2014, your donation dollars will go twice as far, thanks to a generous matching grant challenge from the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation. The foundation will match up to $300,000.

More information about the challenge can be found here
 
Warrior Canine Connection is a pioneering organization that utilizes clinically based Canine Connection Therapy to help wounded Warriors reconnect with life, their families, their communities, and each other.

Warrior Canine Connection is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. Visit us on the web at www.warriorcanineconnection.org

Combined Federal Campaign #94624
Maryland Charity Campaign #4237



 
Copyright © 2014 Warrior Canine Connection, All rights reserved.


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