2013 Worcester Firefighters Memorial 6K

The Worcester firefighters enjoyed great weather and a wonderful turnout for the 13th annual Worcester Firefighters Memorial 6K! NEADS loves being a part of this annual event, and is so grateful to be one of the recipients of their fundraising. Maurice, Rescue and Currahee had a wonderful time!

2013 Puppy Duck Race!

Saturday May 18 was the third annual NEADS Puppy Duck Race & Fair. The weather was beautiful and the crowds were enthusiastic! From the sack races to the freshly popped pop corn to the burgers on the grill, it was a great old fashioned community event enjoyed by kids, adults and canines! Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered and donated. Please check out the pictures below.

2013 Chris Sullivan Memorial 5K

On Saturday, April 20, 2013, 400 runners took off at the starting line at the Chris Sullivan Memorial 5k. The proceeds of the 5k benefit NEADS and the UMass Lowell Pershing Fund for Veterans. The run took place at the beautiful Tsongas auditorium, and was a huge success! Our special thanks to the Sullivan family and the organizers of the event.

2013 NEADS Spring Graduation

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Tiffany, with Rowan in his graduation cap (photo by Michael Stone)

What an incredible day we had this past Sunday, April 7, 2013! Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School rolled out the red carpet for NEADS and all our graduates and did an INCREDIBLE job hosting our Spring 2013 graduation ceremony. The facilities were beautiful, the auditorium was perfect, and the staff and students of Monty Tech could not have been more helpful. In particular, 1st Sgt Paul Jornet and his JR ROTC cadets made every person in attendance feel welcome. A huge thank you to Principal Nicholas DeSimone for graciously hosting NEADS at his school. Thank you to the Audio/Visual dept for going above and beyond to make sure that the ceremony went off without a hitch; Autobody/Collision Repair for the incredible work they have done on our donated Subaru; the Culinary Arts dept for preparing food and cake for graduation day; Graphic Communications for their ongoing support of our communications efforts; and Industrial Technology for building the “kitchen” pictured below especially for our on-stage demo!

We are honored and awed by the generosity of the staff and students of Monty Tech and are so grateful for this growing partnership! Photos by Michael Stone

Thank you, also, to the wonderful group of staff and volunteers who made graduation day possible.

Crew’s Birthday Party!

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As those of us in the Northeast suffer through a frigid cold snap, I thought it might be fun to be reminded of what there is to look forward to in the Summer! Some of our dedicated puppy raisers threw a birthday party this past August for their assistance dog in training Crew, and used the opportunity to fundraise for NEADS! Please enjoy the pictures below, and a full account of the party by Crew’s puppy raiser Amanda Shannon:

A Special Boy turns One! A Pawty for Crew!

August 11th, 2012 was a day of celebration. Exactly a year prior, handsome Crew was born into this world to a pair of equally stunning parents. About 8 weeks later he found his way to NEADS to be trained by an inmate at the ACI in Cranston, RI to hopefully some day become a Service Dog. We had the pleasure of being his weekend puppy raisers and since we have such wonderful family and friends that love Crew too, we decided to celebrate his special day by having a bash! Since Crew has everything he could want here at our home we decided that the party should not only celebrate Crew’s birth but also be a mini-fundraiser to buy items for the pups at our local prison, JJ Moran.

About 30 friends of NEADS came to celebrate Crew and support NEADS.  They braved the threat of a downpour (we had a tornado alert the night before) and made their way to our home where we had promised a fun time! A beautiful welcome sign adorned the front door (made by my talented friend, Cristina) so people new that they were in the right place for the fun! Dog quotes filled our walls (by our friends Natalie & Dave), a poster of Crew’s first year hung for everyone to see his amazing growth in such a short time, a slideshow of more photos was on the computer.  We had our donation bin available for people when they arrived and anyone who donated received a raffle ticket for each dollar they donated (there was a basket of goodies for the person that won) and two guessing games – how many dog treats are in the jar/how many human treats are in the jar (so many good guesses!!)

Outside was a Scooby Doo Piñata filled with snacks donated by Jack’s Snacks, a dog bakery based out of Cranston RI, where the pups could “tug” on the string and whoever tugged the “right” string would open the bottom to let the goodies out. We had bobbing for Planet Dog Orbees, a wading pool, games for the humans and a few other games for both human and canines together. We also had a “paint a paw” area where all of the dogs that attended could paint by using their paws.  We think it came out cute, what do you think?

Of course no pawty is complete without a birthday cake and we didn’t disappoint! Thanks again to Jack’s Snacks, we had a beautiful cake especially for the dogs and then not to leave the humans out, paw cupcakes for them. For the doggie bags to take home we included a Natural Balance log, which was a generous donation from Natural Balance, as well as a few other fun things for humans and canines alike, and for the pups that attended they received a personalized peanut butter bone shaped treat from Jack’s Snacks. Cute!

Altogether we raised $291 which includes donations from friends that weren’t able to make it to celebrate his day. These funds were spent on yard toys, individual toys and treats for the inmates to use to train the pups in their care. It was tons of fun!

Wreaths Across America 2012

REMEMBER ● HONOR ● TEACH

This past weekend several NEADS Weekend Puppy Raisers traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to lay wreaths in specially designated areas, honoring our nation’s veterans.  The fresh evergreens are a symbol used for centuries to recognize honor, and a living tribute renewed annually.  This effort was begun by Wreaths Across America and their many supporters. We think it is especially important at this time of year to recognize and acknowledge the generosity of so many men and women who, over the years, have volunteered and sacrificed on behalf of our country and our veterans.  Thank you.

Ed with Rylie, Officer cyron, rick with moxieKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Massachusetts Gold Star Families Tree Dedication Ceremony

On December 18, NEADS staffers, along with NEADS dogs Currahee and Rainbow, attended the Massachusetts Gold Star Families Tree Dedication Ceremony at the Boston State House. The tree honors local service men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. NEADS was honored to attend.