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Warrior Canine Connection Newsletter
October 2016

SCHULTZ FAMILY FOUNDATION SUPPORTS WCC EXPANSION
 
In August 2016, we were happy to receive support from the Schultz Family Foundation which will help us expand our operations. The two-year grant covers a number of areas, but its main focus is a “train the trainer” program which addresses a critical need for qualified trainers as WCC expands its programs and services. Eight Veterans or family members will be trained over two years, and at least four of them will be hired to work at WCC’s new locations.
 
The program is a critical component of WCC’s mission to add two new program locations per year for the next decade, and to deliver Mission Based Trauma Recovery (MBTR) services to more than 48,000 Veterans and their families across the United States by 2026.
 
During each one-year training period, the four participants will learn the skills needed to pursue a career as a service dog trainer. These skills are also intended to assist in the transition from military service to civilian life. At the end of each internship, WCC anticipates that graduates will serve as instructors for MBTR programs in new locations.
 
Three Veterans and one military spouse began their year-long program in WCC’s new Boyds, MD location at the end of August. During the next 12 months, a blend of classroom experience and hands-on instruction will provide them with all of the skills necessary to staff a satellite WCC location, including MBTR theory and implementation, basic dog training, community engagement, and puppy parent recruitment and program management.
 
“We are excited to begin this new program, and are extremely grateful to the Schultz Family Foundation for their continued recognition of the importance of Mission Based Trauma Recovery for members of our military and their families,” said Rick Yount, WCC founder and Executive Director.
 
“Through their ongoing support, the foundation is ensuring that there is a strong pipeline of service dog trainers ready to expand our mission. This, in addition to providing the opportunity for our participants to transition to new careers in the service dog industry, is creating a winning combination for everyone involved.”
 
WARRIOR CANINE CONNECTION  2016 GRADUATION

Warrior Canine Connection held its fourth graduation on October 8, pairing 11 dogs with Veterans and others who will benefit from their assistance, therapy and companionship. Five of those dogs are now mobility service dogs, two are military family support dogs, three are therapy dogs, and one dog graduated as our newest ambassador dog.

 "At graduation, we celebrate not just the Veterans who are  benefitting from the assistance of these dogs, but the culmination of hundreds of Warriors who help with their training," said WCC Exec-utive Director Rick Yount. "It is a celebration of all of the hard work that has gone into training these dogs and the greater  independence and overall quality of life that they bring to  
their recipients."

The Washington Post published a feature article about graduation and the WCC mission, which you can read here.
ANOTHER VETERANS CHARITY CHALLENGE SUCCESS!

For the fourth year, Warrior Canine Connection participated in the Crowdrise Veterans Charity Challenge, sponsored by Craig Newmark and craigconnects. This year, WCC took second place in the friendly competition to raise money for nonprofit organizations supporting Veterans, military families, police officers, and firefighters. In all, our generous supporters utilized the crowdfunding platform to raise nearly $100,000. 

In recapping the results of the fundraiser, Craig Newmark singled out WCC for the strength of our donor participation. "Warrior Canine Connection came in 2nd place with over 800 donations, more than double the donation number of any other organization," he noted. "That’s the real deal, folks." 

Thank you to all of our generous supporters who gave funds and worked hard to spread the word about WCC and the Challenge! 
NPS FOUNDATION CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT
 
This summer, WCC was chosen as one of eight benefitting charities for the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Foundation Charity Golf Tournament in Monterey, California. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of WCC Advisory Board Member Thomas Callinan, nearly $230,000 was raised via the tournament, a special "Fund a Cause" opportunity, and a gala dinner that included a live auction.
 
In addition to the golf tournament, WCC staff members and service dogs in training were special guests at a VIP reception and charity auction. U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Matthew Moores, who  participated in the WCC Mission Based Trauma Recovery program while he was a patient at  Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, served as keynote speaker. 
 
WCC would also like to recognize and thank Qatar Airlines and Hilton Worldwide, who very generously provided a luxury airfare vacation package for auction during the evening. 
WCC program participant USMC                                        WCC West Coast 
Sgt. Matthew Moores provided the                                      Program Director Ellen 
keynote at the NPS dinner and live                                     Fisher at the reception         
auction                                                                                 with Service dog in Training RAB

 
OPERATION HOMEFRONT SPONSORS WCC’S HIPSLEY AT FORT BELVOIR

In July 2016, volunteers and staff members from military nonprofit Operation Homefront (OH) visited the new WCC Healing Quarters to present a check for $25,000. The check represents sponsorship of WCC Service Dog in Training Hipsley, who will work with Warriors in the WCC program at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia’s Intrepid Spirit Center. 

Approximately 40 guests were in attendance at the check presentation, including Volunteer Leaders Woody Wrable and Steve Taylor. Along with their team of OH volunteers, Woody and Steve organized and ran a "Casino Night" fundraiser for WCC in Northern Virginia in January 2016. Joining them at the check presentation were OH Regional Director Vivian Dietrich and other members of the Operation Homefront management team. 
 

As part of the festivities, a number of WCC puppy parents and their service dogs in training were on hand to provide demonstrations. Warrior Canine Connection’s special guest was Jane Hipsley, whose son Army Sgt. Christian Joseph Hipsley is the namesake for the Operation Homefront-sponsored  puppy. At age 32, Sgt. Hipsley lost his battle with post-traumatic stress. 

Read more about the event, and the important work that Operation Homefront plays in supporting our Nation’s Heroes, at their website.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS

The Warrior Canine Connection Healing Quarters has a new address:

Warrior Canine Connection
Bob and Renee Parsons Healing Quarters
14934 Schaeffer Road
Boyds, MD 20841

Please note that our phone number is still (301) 260-1111. 

Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to help us through the transition!
Led by the Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA), a team of volunteers
and construction industry executives came together for two days in late
June to assemble the walls and roof for the future WCC Welcome Center.
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Copyright © 2016 Warrior Canine Connection, All rights reserved.


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