For our 25th anniversary, we invited Community Leaders to a luncheon and took that opportunity to invite Andy Kramer from Southeastern Guide Dogs and a Service Dog recipient, Morgan Wat with his dog, Foley. Our Chairman, Brigadier Colin Howgill, presented a check for $15,000 for their PAWS for Patriots program, to sponsor 3 veterans paying for their "hook up" period when they come to the campus and are paired with their dog and then spend 24 days learning to live together. The dog is free to the vet but the training period costs $5,000.
At the same time, we presented a check to Kelly Kowall, who founded My Warrior's Place on the Manatee River in Ruskin, FL in honor of her son, Cory, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan. Kelly has created a retreat and refuge for veterans, those currently serving and their families as well as Blue and Gold Star family members. Kelly offers overnight and temporary housing, boating and fishing, barbecues, classes and many other activities for the vets.