A Donor’s Story
The Worcester Fire Department 6K Road Race began in 2000 following the December 1999 Cold Storage Fire where six of our firefighters were lost. In their memory we seek to give back to the community that supported us so well through that tragedy. In 2011 we identified the NEADS Puppy Program as one of our charities. Since our initial introduction to the program, we have been able to see very directly how uniquely positive and valuable this program is. In 2011 following our initial donation we named and quickly met “Blaze.” During his training we were updated with pictures and his progress and really experienced his training firsthand. He has attended our race and we have had the pleasure of meeting him and watching him grow into the mature assistance dog he will become. In 2012 we again named another two puppies, “Rescue” and “Maurice,” and are excited and proud to have the opportunity to follow them through the program on their way to providing invaluable assistance to a deaf or disabled person. The WFD6K Race has donated to over one hundred charities since its inception but NEADS stands out to us through regular updates and firsthand knowledge of how our donation is being put to use. All of the people that we have met through the program have been wonderful to work with and it has been a great experience to become part of the NEADS extended family. We look forward to many years of continuing to support the NEADS program and look forward to watching their excellent work result in greater independence for people in need.— Lt. John Franco, WFD6K
Blaze was matched with Angela Mullally, a special education teacher at Rochester’s School 19. She and Blaze have together initiated a therapy dog program for the school, and Mullally has a lot of support from the administration. Below, you can see Angela and Blaze together.