Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and yours a safe and Happy Holiday!

As we near the end of 2016, we think back on all the wonderful things this year brought to Soldier’s Best Friend. Through the incredible support of many of you, a new state-of-the-art training campus is home to many of our veteran/dog teams as they learn the ins and outs of becoming qualified for service dog status. We are so thankful to The Dorrance Family Foundation for their generous matching gift challenge grant that was key to raising the needed funding to complete construction. Many other foundations, civic groups, American Legions, other veteran groups, businesses, families and individuals contributed their gifts to help meet the challenge and make the training campus possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Another milestone this year was reaching the mark of 150 graduates. Congratulations to each and every one of these teams for their dedication to reach this goal. It is a huge commitment taking hours and hours of hard work to be able to pass the Public Access Test and graduate. But it’s so worth it. The stories we hear about the lives changed will warm your heart. One of the projects for 2017 is to add more new testimonials from our graduates so you can hear in their words how your gifts are changing lives.

Our Grand Opening for the new training campus was held on November 3. The weather had been perfect for weeks and, of course, it started raining just as guests were arriving. Thank you to the brave souls who came to be part of this important occasion. We also thank the Glendale Chamber of Commerce who provided a ribbon cutting ceremony. Thanks to the musicians of The New Deal for entertaining us and Babbo’s Catering for providing the delicious food.

Our annual Sporting Clay event and Golf Tournament were both successful this year, raising funds to support teams in our program. Thanks to all the participants, sponsors, volunteers and other supporters who had a part in this success. We look forward to hosting both of these events in 2017 and hope you will join us.

There are many more wonderful things that came our way this year and, if you were a part of it, we thank you. We recognize how fortunate we are to have such dedicated volunteers, donors, trainers, sponsors and supporters. You are critical to the success story. Whether you know if or not, you are making a lasting impact in many lives. So during this holiday season of celebration, we celebrate you, and wish you all the best for a happy holiday.

Peoria Chick-Fil-A and American Legion Auxiliary Sponsor Team

In honor of the World War I peace treaty signed at 11 a.m. on 11/11, the Arrowhead Chick-Fil-A donated 11% of their proceeds to the Peoria American Legion Auxiliary Unit 62. The Auxiliary raised the remaining funds to combine with this donation to sponsor a Soldier’s Best Friend veteran/dog team. This is a wonderful example of how teamwork in our community can benefit veterans. Soldier’s Best Friend thanks the Arrowhead Chick-Fil-A and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 62 for their support as well as their collaborative spirit to work together to accomplish this goal.

Entire article as seen in the Sun City Independent on December 7, 2016: Sun_City_Independent_20161207_A16_0

Golf Tournament Wrap-up

Golf Tournament Wrap-up

golf1_webSaturday, December 3, was a chilly morning for over 100 golfers who came out to Grand Canyon University Golf Course to play in our 6th annual tournament. We were honored to have the Luke Air Force Base Honor Guard onsite for a touching presentation of the flags. Shortly afterward the golfers took off in their carts for 18 holes of fun.

Adding challenge (and fun) to the course were the Putts 4 Privileges golf ball cannon, Dixon Golf drive challenge and a putting green contest. Putts 4 Privileges set up a golf cannon that players could use to shoot their ball to the green. This challenge raised funds for both Soldier’s Best Friend and The First Tee of Phoenix, a youth development organization that introduces the game of golf and its inherent values to young people. Not only was it a great fundraiser, but it was exciting to try. Dixon Golf set up on two separate holes giving golfers a different experience to challenge their skills. Thanks to the Heels for Combat ladies who volunteered to run the putting green contest. They added a unique to this year’s putting contest.

After finishing the course, golfers came back to the GCU clubhouse for a delicious Italian lunch and prize announcements. Thank you to our generous sponsors for supporting the tournament, all the volunteers who gave their time to help run the tournament, the golfers who played that day and GCU Golf Course for hosting us at their recently renovated course. Players told us the course was spectacular. A special “thank you” to Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation | The Parker Team for coming on board as this year’s title sponsor, as well as providing great goodie bags for each player.

Watch for an announcement of next year’s tournament. We look forward to seeing you there!

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