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September 28, 2011: National Guide Dog Month, Writing Class

Here are five reasons you should get out and about town today.

1. Today will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a high near 73, according to reports from the National Weather Service.

2. The is offering a from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

3. National Guide Dog Month celebrates guide dogs and is a way to raise awareness, appreciation and support for guide dog schools across the United States. National Guide Dog Month was initiated by actor Dick Van Patten, who was impressed by the intelligence and training of guide dogs. After learning that the costs to raise and train a guide dog exceed $40,000 and that the process can take up to two years, Van Patten was inspired to help raise awareness and money for guide dog schools. In 2009, National Guide Dog Month was established for the month of May, however in 2010, it was moved to September due to conflicts with other national fundraising drives.
 
4. Among the non-profit guide dog schools that are beneficiaries of National Guide Dog Month is Connecticut's own Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. Beginning in 1960, the work done by Charlie and Robbie Kaman, along with staff members and volunteers, has helped thousands of people. The Kamans were an innovative couple who realized the potential to help legally blind individuals live more normal lives with the help of German shepherds. If you would like a tour of the Bloomfield Fidelco facility, the first Tuesday of each month features a one-hour tour beginning at 1 p.m. If you or your group is interested in a tour of Fidelco, contact Jan Adams at 860-243-4801 or at jadams@fidelco.org. Space is limited, and registration is required.
 
5. Fidelco's next fundraising event is the Black and Tan Online Auction. The foundation's goal is to raise $45,000, enough to support one canine from pup to fully-trained guide dog partner. The more people who bid, the more successful the fundraiser will be. Items such as restaurant gift certificates, family getaways, tickets to shows and much more are being offered, and new items will be added to the site for folks to preview as the auction dates of Saturday, Oct. 1 through Oct. 16 approaches. Pre-register today to join the fun for a great cause.

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