Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today joined by local veterans, service dogs and corporate sponsors to announce the 3rd Annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk benefiting America’s VetDogs – an organization that provides specially-trained guide and service dogs to disabled veterans, active-duty service members and disabled first responders. The event will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration and the Museum of American Armor.
County Executive Mangano stated, “Nassau County has teamed up with America’s VetDogs and corporate sponsors to support disabled military heroes and provide them the support needed to again live with pride and self-reliance. It takes thousands of dollars to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides their services completely free of charge to the individual.”
Mangano was joined at the press conference by Charlie, a service dog in-training who is also NBC’s TODAY “puppy with a purpose.” From the moment Charlie first appeared on NBC’s Today Show - almost a year ago - he’s captured viewer’s hearts. Charlie is growing up to be a future service dog. With the guidance of an experienced dog handler, the TODAY hosts are helping raise and train him in Studio 1A during the show. At the end of 18 months, Charlie will be matched and placed with a disabled veteran.
America’s VetDogs relies on voluntary contributions to fund its mission. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, there is never a charge to the individual. The following sponsors of the 3rd Annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk allow the organization to direct funds to supporting programs: Suez; BAE Systems; and CG/3PL.
“We’re excited to once again partner with Nassau County on the third annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk,” says Wells Jones, CEO of America’s VetDogs. “Long Islanders provide amazing support for disabled veterans and their families. We're gratified that participation in this event has more than doubled in just three short years.”
Michael Martino, Communications Manager at SUEZ North America, added, "To see the impact this organization has made is inspirational. SUEZ has always been committed to our fighting men and women. We are excited to be the title sponsor of the 5K once again and see how the event has grown."
About the 3rd Annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk:
The 3rd Annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017. Registration is currently open and available through the day of the event. Dogs are welcome for those who wish to take a leisurely walk with their four-legged friends. All participants will have an opportunity to visit the Museum of American Armor, which is located in the village, before or after the race. For more information regarding the event and to register online, please https://lirace4vets.vetdogs.org.
Pictured from left to right: Mark Collins, BAE Systems (sponsor); Jim Tubbs, Caroline’s Handler; Olivia Poff, Charlie’s Handler; Ralph Esposito, Commissioner of Veterans Services; Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano; VetDogs Charlie, Caroline & Merlot; Back Row: Brad Hibbard, Director of Training Guide Dog Foundation; Mike Martino, Suez (Sponsor); Legislator Rose Marie Walker; Sy Lieder (Merlot is his guide dog); Eileen Daly-Sapraicone, Museum Spokesperson; and CathyAnn Boyle, Hedley’s Handler.