Palmetto, FL, (June 11, 2019)—On Saturday, June 8th, Southeastern Guide Dogs held a Student Bus Donor Appreciation Day on the Palmetto campus to thank the Lions of MD-35 and Lions Club International Foundation for their combined gift of $104,554. The groups donated the money to purchase a new Ford F-550 bus, providing Southeastern Guide Dogs’ visually impaired and veteran students with a safe and accessible vehicle to transport them to and from training locations throughout the area. “We are grateful for the generosity of the Lions of MD-35 and for the matching grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation. The gift of a new student bus means even greater freedom, safety, comfort and mobility for our students,” said Titus Herman, Southeastern Guide Dogs CEO. “This gift truly embodies the attribute of Lions Clubs that says, ‘Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion!’”
As part of their regular, off-site, personalized training sessions, guide and service dog students travel with their dogs and certified trainers to various locations in Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa and St. Petersburg. They visit malls, restaurants, airports, city centers and more, learning how to navigate safely and confidently in both rural and city environments.
The Lions Club has a generous history with Southeastern Guide Dogs dating back to the early 1980s, when member Robert D. Miller and his wife envisioned bringing a guide dog school to Florida. Their dream was realized when they co-founded Southeastern Guide Dogs with fellow Lion Dr. Harris Silverman. Over more than three decades, Lions have continued to help expand and develop the 33-acre Southeastern Guide Dogs campus and to improve the lives of the visually impaired and veterans that the organization serves.
About Southeastern Guide Dogs
Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. Our 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. We rely 100% on private donations and receive 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.