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Gala to benefit expanded social service dog program at GCSD

Jan. 26, 2015—The Guilderland Central School District is excited to announce the expansion of its public school social service dog program thanks to a grant awarded to the district in 2014 from the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital District. The grant will allow Guilderland to expand its service dog program from one dog (Miss Siggy) to six dogs. Miss Siggy and school social worker Catherine Ricchetti have worked in three Guilderland elementary schools over the last eleven years helping thousands of children. Miss Siggy helps with social-emotional needs, bullying prevention and academic perseverance.

The astounding success of this singular dog program led to the process of purchasing five labradoodle puppies. The first puppy added from the grant, Willow, joined the Pine Bush Elementary School community in November 2014. The district anticipates welcoming its second puppy to a school learning community in the fall of 2015. All five dogs will be certified by Therapy Dog International which allows them to work as social service dogs in our schools.

Gala and Silent Auction
On Saturday, March 21, 2015, Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital will host a fundraising gala and silent auction at the Franklin Plaza Ballroom in Troy to benefit the GCSD social service dog program, which is sustained solely by grants and private donations. All staff and community members are invited to attend the event, which kicks off at 7 p.m. and will feature great food, dancing, and a cash bar. Tickets for for community members can be purchased online. Prices are as follows:
Early Bird 1 (ends Feb. 5) $65.00
Early Bird 2 (ends Feb. 16) $75.00
Early Bird 3 (ends March 21) $85.00

GCSD faculty and staff are eligible for a discounted ticket rate and extended early bird deadlines. Please contact your building gala representative for more information on how to purchase staff tickets:
Altamont Elementary: Louisa Lombardo
Guilderland Elementary: Heidi Cutler
Lynwood Elementary: Catherine Ricchetti
Pine Bush Elementary: Catherine Ricchetti or Keith VanWagenen
Westmere Elementary: Louisa Lombardo
FMS: DeeAnn Whittet
GHS: Kathy Catlin and Matt Wright

Local businesses are also invited to contribute merchandise and/or gift cards for this event. All proceeds from the silent auction will fund the training and certification of the labradoodle puppies and approximately 50 school district educators who will be the canine handlers in our schools. If you are interested in making a donation to the silent auction, please contact Catherine Ricchetti (x-3504) or Keith VanWagenen (x-4204) at 357-2770.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there!