The Diabetes Friendly Foundation hosted the second annual “K9s for Kids” benefit on November 19th, in Dallas, Texas. Founded by Cole Egger, the Diabetes Friendly Foundation and its sponsors support Diabetes Alert Dogs (DADs) for families with children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
A number of families who have Wildrose DADs have been supported by the DFF. The Simonton family served as an Honorary Chair at the benefit. In addition, seven Wildrose DADs attended the event with their families. Mike Stewart, Rachel and Beth Thornton, Jerry and Stacy Byard, and Ben McClelland were among the Wildrose staff and volunteers who attended.
Lavishly set out in the Fashion Industry Gallery, the charity event featured live music and offered heavy hors d‘oeuvres and beverages. Several side-rooms at the benefit were devoted to a theme. For example, Diabetes Alert Dog (DAD) Room, gave the Wildrose folks a place to congregate as well as enabling attendees to see the DADs in action. People who were unfamiliar with the dogs’ scenting ability and vigilance over their team members were very surprised to watch the DADs up close and personal. Of course, you may know that innumerable folks wanted to pet the dogs, even though the DADs were at work and wore “Do Not Pet” vest patches.
Another side room held tables full of silent auction items. The main event was the presentation of the DADs and their team members. Dallas TV personality, Jayde Donovan, emceed the program, introducing Mike Stewart, who—with Deke at his side—discussed the special genetics and training of Wildrose dogs. Then, it was Rachel Thornton’s turn at the microphone to explain the DAD program and to introduce members of the Wildrose DAD family. Devon Wright and Deanna Whitehead gave testimonies to the priceless value of stability that Olive and JD bring to their lives. Donovan then interviewed Faith Wilson (Ruby) and Lily Simonton (Charlie). The program also featured a video that showed other DFF-sponsored families for whom Wildrose DADs are dedicated: the Partees, the Nolands, and the Horstmans.
The event is a testimony to the spirit of benevolence that the Diabetes Friendly Foundation has engendered to assist families with diabetic members. A slideshow below shows some of the evening’s action. To control the movement of slides, place the cursor over the bottom center of the slide and use the arrow and pause keys.