Over a year ago, Puppy Jake Foundation was contacted by a soldier about to be deployed to serve our country and inquired if PJF would keep his pet dog, Sebastian while he was gone. PJF explained this was not something the organization did, but shared the request with the wonderful volunteers and Board. Thank you Simon, April, Rich and others that allowed Joe the comfort to know Sebastian was well loved and cared for during deployment. A must watch video as Joe arrives in Des Moines to see Sebastian at the gate! And grab a tissue!
Puppy Jake Foundation is beyond words of appreciation and gratitude for the support from Merchants Bonding Bill Warner Senior Charity Golf Classic. The generosity of from the single event raised $160,000 for Puppy Jake Foundation. YES, that's complete sponsorship of 8 service dogs for wounded Military Veterans.
Here is the press release in it's entirety:
September 20, 2016 West Des Moines, IA
Merchants Bonding Company Foundation Raises $160,000 for Puppy Jake
A record number of golfers turned out for the Merchants Bonding Company Foundation’s Bill Warner Senior Memorial Charity Golf Classic on Monday September 19. With 208 golfers and 74 corporate sponsors from across the country, the group raised $160,000 dollars to buy and train at least 8 service dogs for veterans suffering from physical disabilities and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“This is a record amount for us,” said Merchants President Larry Taylor, “since we began our every other year tournament in 2010, it’s grown in both participation and dollars. We feel very humbled and fortunate that so many supported our efforts to help veterans.”
“I am still speechless!” said Puppy Jake CEO Becky Beach. “We can’t thank everyone enough and obviously our words don’t convey the appreciation and deep gratitude from everyone associated with Puppy Jake Foundation.”
Puppy Jake began in 2013 and as of the beginning of 2016 had placed just 5 service dogs with Iowa area veterans with great success. There are now 32 dogs in various stages of training and about a dozen will be placed with veterans in 2016. The word is spreading among veterans that a Puppy Jake dog is a real option to make their lives better.
Puppy Jake Foundation purchases high quality, pure bred puppies from reputable breeders. Volunteers raise the puppies with expenses being paid by donations. Puppy Jake has also begun to work with rescue and shelter organizations to identify dogs that may be able to enter the two- year service dog training program. Each veteran and trained service dog attend a 10-14 day camp to ensure the bond between the two is strong. The training of the veteran/service dog team continues regularly for the first year of placement. Follow up and training continues for the life of the service dog.
“Word of our fundraising got to one donor who would like to remain anonymous, and that donor alone gave $20,000, enough to sponsor one dog,” said Merchants COO Bill Warner Junior. “The desire to help our veterans is strong and we are honored that we could use my dad’s memorial outing to give back to the men and women who serve our country.”
Merchants Bonding Company was founded in Des Moines in 1933 and is led by fourth generation family members. The company ranks 15th among the top surety providers in the United States and is number one in Iowa. Merchants Bonding has had an A.M. Best Rating of “A” excellent for 56 consecutive years. Office locations include: Des Moines, Iowa, Dallas and Austin, Texas, Seattle, Washington and Overland Park, Kansas.
For More Information:
Merchants Bonding Company
Direct: 515-558-8721 Mobile 515-822-1194
Puppy Jake Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonproﬁt organization dedicated to help wounded military veterans with the assistance of well-bred and professionally trained service dogs. Veterans’ injuries may be invisible such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or physical mobility impairments. The Foundation advocates for increased awareness and accessibility for those accompanied by a service dog in everyday situations. For more information, please visit: www.puppyjakefoundation.org
P.O. Box 12115
Des Moines, IA 50312
Puppy Jake Foundation is thrilled to share that Merchants Bonding Company has chosen PJF as the charity for the September 19th Bill Warner, Sr. Golf Classic. The event is so popular that the golf will be played on two Des Moines area courses: Wakonda Club and Echo Valley Golf Club. Following golf, a reception will be held at Echo Valley for golfers and non-golfers alike. Join Veterans, Trainers, Foster Families, Service Dogs in Training and Celebrities for this terrific and fun event. https://www.merchantsbonding.com/golf-classic.aspx
Puppy Jake Foundation wrapped up the 2015 Iowa State Fair, reflecting on the wonderful experiences this year. Over twenty veterans expressed interest in applying for a professionally trained service dog and more than thirty people plan to attend upcoming Orientation Sessions to become foster familes.
The Training Team conducted NINE formal training classes at the Fair. Additionally, foster families spent time exploring the venue with their service dog in training on their personal time, and/or before and after shifts in the Booth. Great care was taken for the time the pups spent in the booth greeting and meeting everyone. Multiple breaks, water and kennel time was required for the canines~and humans too!
PJF is blessed with the high level of awareness of the mission to help US Servicemembers, suffering from injury in combat. Time and time again the volunteers heard, "Oh, here's Puppy Jake~they raise service dogs for veterans!" Presidential candidates, mascots, children, veterans, cheerleaders, special guests from Blazing Saddles and more, spent time with the pups, made donations, and chatted with volunteers.
After 11 days at the Fair, where PJF helped a lost boy, a man suffering a stroke and a break-in to the booth, PJF was thrilled to give away 78 stuffed dogs; 250 coloring books; 400 tattoos (on the first day); 114 PJF special blend coffee packs; 103 admission tickets, 1,250 business cards, 874 personalized dog trading cards; 83 t-shirts; 43 tugs toys (made by volunteers) and 2,400 brochures. The millions of calories, trips down the concourse, goats and cattle, sky gilder rides and pup treats added to the wonderful time. Iowa State Fair experience: PRICELESS.
For the second year in a row, Gabus Automotive Group customers and employees support PJF as one of the charities for the "July Charitable Program". For each car sold in the month of July from any of the Gabus Automotive Group dealerships, $100 will be donated to the charities selected.
Volunteers and foster families accepted the generous check last year and continue to be grateful for the support of PJF's mission to donate a professionally trainied service dog to a combat wounded veteran.
The dealership even allowed a couple of pups to hop in one of the new cars!
For Immediate Release Contact: Dee Kading, Human Resources Director
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 515-333-5786 (office)
Gabus Cares July Charitable Program
Gabus Automotive Group Customers and Employees Support Four Local Nonprofit Organizations
Des Moines, Iowa — Gene Gabus, president of Gabus Automotive Group, believes strongly in giving back to the communities where his employees and customers live and work. His father, the late Charles Gabus who founded the family of car dealerships, quietly supported many area charities. Gene Gabus continues the “give back” philosophy his father modeled. The Gabus Cares program honors and supports local charitable organizations that help lift individuals — inspiring hope and providing much-needed resources.
During the month of July, when customers buy a new or used vehicle from any of the Gabus Automotive Group dealerships, Gabus Automotive Group will donate $100 per car sold to local charities.
This year, Gabus Cares program proceeds will benefit four local charities selected by the employees at the four Gabus Automotive Group dealerships. From a pool of nominated organizations, employees voted to support these four local charities:
Gabus Automotive Group July charitable programs have raised nearly $500,000 since the Gabus Care’s program was established in 2011. Gabus says, “Our goal is to give more than $100,000 this year. Sharing our good fortune with the folks that place their trust in us as a local business is simply a wonderful way to show gratitude and help our communities.”
Gabus Automotive Group
Charles Gabus purchased his first dealership in 1953 in Holdrege, NE. Gabus moved his Charles Gabus Ford dealership to West Des Moines, IA and eventually to its present location on Merle Hay Road. Today, Charles Gabus Ford is Iowa’s largest Ford dealership.
In addition to Charles Gabus Ford, the Gabus Automotive Group includes Toyota of Des Moines, Des Moines Mitsubishi and Kia of Des Moines. Gabus Automotive Group President Gene Gabus continues his father’s legacy of selling quality vehicles at a good value, providing superior service and maintaining local dealer ownership. For more information, call 515-238-8878.
Children’s Cancer Connection
Children's Cancer Connection exists to enhance the lives of families affected by childhood cancer, and being the caring presence by providing programs for recreation, education and support. Children's Cancer Connection is able to provide these programs to children and their families in Iowa, at no cost because of compassion and generosity of businesses and individuals. For more information, visit www.childrenscancerconnection.org.
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa has led child abuse prevention efforts in Iowa since 1975. It is the only state organization focused solely on preventing child abuse rather than treating families and children after abuse has occurred. The organization advocates for policies and programs that promote child well-being, raises awareness of child abuse and methods to prevent it, and assists community partners in providing services to families. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa is based in Des Moines, but has partnerships in nearly every Iowa county. For more information, call (800) CHILDREN or visit www.pcaiowa.org.
About Puppy Jake Foundation
Puppy Jake Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping military veterans through the assistance of well bred, socialized and professionally trained service dogs. PJF donates the service dogs to the veterans. There are currently 26 service dogs in various stages of training. Each dog is in the program up to two years at an average cost of $20,000 per dog. For more information visit www.puppyjakefoundation.org.
Urbandale Food Pantry
The Urbandale Food Pantry is a collaborative community effort to reach out to our neighbors to provide food assistance with dignity and compassion. Open to all residents, proof of economic need is not required to obtain food and personal care items. The Urbandale Food Pantry is one of the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) food pantries where it obtains its food supplies. For more information, please visit www.urbandalefoodpantry.org
PARKE and puppy sitter Tim at Homeland Security. Thanks Tim for your assistance is allowing service dogs in training the opportunity to train at Homeland Security!
Take a look at Puppy Jake Foundation's summer edition of the newsletter, "Dog Tags". This issue features Matt and his service dog, CLARENCE. CLARENCE is the second dog to be placed by PJF.
Puppy Jake Foundation was honored to have numerous notable Veterans in town with Governor Rick Perry in support of the PJF program. Motorcycles, American heroes, service dogs in training, supporters and veterans from the entire midwest area gathered to raise money and awareness for PJF's mission to provide professionally trained service dogs to wounded combat veterans, at no charge to the veteran!
Governor Perry spoke to the crowd, on D-Day, thanking all veterans for their service to our country. With Governor Perry was: Mrs. Perry, US Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (author of Lone Survivor), US Navy SEAL Morgan Luttrell, US Marine Dan Moran, US Navy SEAL Pete Scobell and US Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor Recipient Mike Thornton.
Taya Kyle touched the hearts of many in the crowd as she spoke informally with attendees and PJF foster families. Taya is the author of "American Wife" and the widow of US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle ("American Sniper). She is pictured with Puppy Jake Foundation's first two veterans to receive a service dog: Mitch (BOB) and Matt (CLARENCE).
After the program, Governor Perry (on the bike of Veteran Taylor Morris) led the veterans in the motorcycle ride to Boone, Iowa.
An amazing day, dedicated to helping our service members of the US Armed Services.
Foster Family Josh has begun his position after graduation from Drake University. Along side Josh will be HERMAN, a yellow lab in training with Puppy Jake Foundation. HERMAN will train for up to two years to become a professionally trained service dog, provided at no charge, to a wounded combat veteran. Great job Josh and HERMAN.