Palmetto, Fla. —December 4, 2018— Southeastern Guide Dogs announces that Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to support a new Intro to Guide Dogs Camp to be held on the school’s Palmetto, Florida campus. Plans are currently being made to finalize the camp with its launch and first session planned for March 2019.
The objective of the camp will be to provide an educational and fun experience for children ages 14 – 17 who are visually impaired and who may be interested in becoming a guide dog handler, and for parents and guardians. Teen campers and parents will stay overnight in the school’s Barpal-Hirst Student Center during the three-day camp, and will experience simultaneous but different tracks, one for students and one for parents. As with all Southeastern Guide Dogs programs, there is no charge for participants.
Teens will be assigned a dog for each day and will enjoy hands-on activities such as walking with a trained guide dog in harness, practicing dog obedience, experiencing mock veterinary checks, playtime, and more. Parents, meanwhile, will learn about practical matters such as financial expectations for the care of a large-breed dog and evaluating whether their child is ready to take the next steps and apply for a guide dog.
“Over the years, we’ve often heard our students and graduates say, ‘I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get a guide dog; I had no idea it would change my life so much,’” says Southeastern Guide Dogs CEO Titus Herman. “By educating teens and parents sooner, we’ll create a smoother, more direct path to the independence and freedom that a guide dog offers.”
“Barancik Foundation strives to make a difference in Sarasota and beyond, and supporting this Intro to Guide Dogs Camp at Southeastern Guide Dogs aligns perfectly with our focus on educational and humanitarian causes,” says President and CEO Teri A Hansen. “We’re excited about this partnership and seeing this program grow.”
About Southeastern Guide Dogs
Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. The organization employs some of the most talented and innovative scientists and trainers in the working-dog industry and operates the most advanced training facilities of any service dog organization in the world. Our experts train guide dogs, service dogs, and skilled companion dogs for people with visual impairments, veterans with disabilities, and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or loss of a parent in the military.
All of Southeastern Guide Dogs’ services—which include selective breeding and expert dog training and conditioning; comprehensive on-campus student instruction; and lifetime alumni support—are provided at no cost to the recipients. The charity relies 100 percent on private donations and receives no government funding. Southeastern Guide Dogs has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier, global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. Learn more at www.GuideDogs.org.
About Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation
The Charles and Margery Barancik family has long believed in the power of philanthropy to shape our world and enrich the lives of all people. It was the expression of this belief that led them in 2014 to establish the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation—a private, family foundation located in Sarasota, Florida. The Foundation creates initiatives and awards grants in Sarasota and beyond. The Foundation’s mission is to promote meaningful changes in the areas of education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, the environment, and medical research.