60 scrapbookers filled the back room of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Orange Park, Florida for our annual Spring Puppy Crop event on April 7th through the 9th. Raffle prizes, scrapbooking materials and equipment adorned what seemed to be an endless array of tables.
Our large scrapbooking fundraiser events are held in the spring and fall every year to raise money for our non-profit, Patriot Service Dogs. The attendees pay $100 each to attend the fundraiser as an opportunity to help disabled veterans and military personnel, meet up with their scrapbooking buddies, win some awesome prizes donated by local businesses, as well as savor some delicious meals donated by local eating establishments.
A glimpse around the room revealed lots of comradery in the form of smiles, hugs, laughter, reminiscing, and photo-taking. A few service dogs and their handlers also joined in the festivities.
Needless to say, this was a very successful scrapbooking fundraiser event for Patriot Service Dogs which resulted in $9300 being raised to provide disabled veterans with well-trained service dogs. We couldn’t do it without the growing number of scrapbookers who keep attending each year. Why do these dedicated people return year after year to help Patriot Service Dogs? We interviewed four of them to learn their answers.
Why We Keep Attending Patriot Service Dogs’ Scrapbooking Fundraiser Events
“I have been involved in the Patriot Service Dogs scrapbooking events for at least ten years now. It all started when I met Susan Bolton, President of Patriot Service Dogs, at a local scrapbooking event. Susan brought Justice, a service dog she had been training, and I became enamored with the opportunity to help disabled veterans by providing them with well-trained service dogs. I really wanted to help. I participate each year because it is such a wonderful cause and I have fun being involved in the scrapbooking, soliciting the gifts, and participating in the raffles. The topic of helping a service dog organization has always been a good conversation starter when meeting new people, too. We often attract more scrapbookers from other people staying at the hotel inquiring what we are doing there.”
“I have been participating in Patriot Service Dogs scrapbooking events for about five years, and like Dina, became involved by meeting Susan at a local scrapbooking event. Susan recruited me! This is a great organization to support and I look forward doing so with my friends. I enjoy the fellowship and like seeing the veterans who attend with their dogs. I think it’s neat that I get to support this very beneficial cause doing what I love to do – scrapbooking.”
“I have been attending Patriot Service Dogs’ scrapbooking events for the past five years. I met Susan through my mom who was in a scrapbooking group with her. I’ve also trained four service dogs for this organization. One year we had a litter of five puppies born during one of our scrapbooking events!
I’m not really a scrapbooking enthusiast but I enjoy seeing the other puppy raisers who attend these fundraising events and I answer questions about puppy raising that any of the attendees might have. I also take lots of photos of the scrapbooking events. Presently, I am a sophomore at Florida State College Jacksonville majoring in Biology. I am also training a service dog named Nina who attends classes at the college with me.”
Deborah Albertson Franz
“This is my 5th scrapbooking event. I became involved in these Patriot Service Dogs’ fundraising events through a friend who attended them. I enjoy getting together with my scrapbooking friends to give back to those who have served our nation.
During one of the puppy crop events, a litter of 5 Labrador puppies were born. They were so adorable, I made the commitment to become a “puppy raiser”. As a “puppy raiser”, I mentor, train and work with the puppy in my home to prepare her to be of service to her permanent veteran partner.
Becoming a puppy raiser has brought some purpose to my life. I was an Army Nurse from 1985-1991. In 1997, I sustained a severe traumatic brain injury and became permanently disabled and unable to return to work. I find that training a dog makes me accountable to accomplish something.
In addition to being a puppy raiser, I am also sponsoring a puppy named Cordelia. I have started a Go Fund Me Account so that anyone interested in helping defray the cost of Cordelia’s training, supplies, food, and medical care can easily contribute to Patriot Service Dogs to do so. “
Over to You…
If you would like to participate in our next big scrapbooking fundraiser event on October 26th-29th of this year, check out our Facebook page for all the details. You‘ll not only feel good about supporting disabled veterans, but you will also make some lifelong friendships.
Patriot Service Dogs, Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping our disabled military community gain a sense of independence through their partnership with a well-trained service dog. Our focus is placing service dogs with disabled active, retired or medically discharged military who have given so much for our freedom. We were formed in July of 2009 in Central Florida with initial offices in Jacksonville & Belleview. At the time of our incorporation, we had 7 founding members with an active and dedicated board. To get more informative updates about our organization, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We welcome your suggestions as well as financial support through our Donate button on this website. If you are interested in volunteering, contact us at 352-514-9903, and we’ll gladly find a spot for you. We hope you will share our blog posts with your family and friends.