The first phase of construction of the new campus was completed in October. This facility allows Canine Companions the space to train and place up to 30 assistance dogs each year. Phase two of the construction, which will be completed in 2016/2017 based on fundraising results, will increase the training center’s capacity to 60 teams per year.
The training center is already helping with the recruitment of volunteer puppy raisers and applicants in Texas, including more military veterans through The Wounded Veterans Initiative™.
Thanks to over three years of hard work and an impactful partnership between Canine Companions for Independence® and Baylor, Scott & White Health, the first Team Training, graduation, and puppy matriculation were held in November of 2015 at the new Canine Companions at Baylor, Scott & White Health — Kinkeade Campus.
A special thank you to Baylor, Scott & White Health and the Honorable Judge Ed Kinkeade for making Canine Companions’ sixth training center a reality and for a truly Texas-sized grand opening! A whirlwind of events helped to celebrate the opening:
Donor Preview on November 6th: Baylor Health Care System Foundation hosted a special sneak peek for key donors to preview the new campus.
Graduation Ceremony on November 7th: Four new recipients received their Canine Companions assistance dogs. Fourteen puppies also matriculated to begin professional training with Canine Companions instructors at the first graduation and matriculation ceremony held at the new training center. Dallas Cowboys Halftime Show on November 8th: The new South Central Region made Texas and national history with a fantastic veterans tribute show at the Dallas Cowboys game, which was part of National Football League’s Salute to Service. Canine Companions Wounded Veterans Initiative graduate, Cpt. Michael Caspers, took command of the field during the symbolic presentation of his new service dog as thousands of fans cheered. Tom Brokaw hosted the show with special guests and Dallas Cowboys legends, Roger Staubach and Chad Hennings.
As the LPCCI Administrator I had the honor of being a part of the grand opening events that took place at the new South Central Training Center. I was truly amazed by the new center and all the fine details and thought that were put into it. There was just one thing missing, a Lions Den.
Immediately upon returning home I knew there had to be a way to get our Lions involved in Canine Companions’ sixth training center. What could be better than a naming oppor- tunity? I am very excited to announce that LPCCI has made a 5 year pledge with Canine Companions for Independence to raise $150,000! We have been given the opportunity to name the Family Lodge at the center, which will now be called The Lions Den. Every person that visits the new center will get to see how involved Lions are, demonstrating our partnership goes back with Canine Companions.
Where there’s a need there’s a Lion, and the need at the Canine Companions Baylor Scott & White Health — Kinkeade Campus is a Lions Den. With great supporters like you, we will meet our fundraising goal for the new Den. Donation opportunities are readily available, so be amongst the first to donate towards LPCCI’s newest Lions Den. Special recognition will be made to all sponsors. Make your donation today at www.lpcci.com or mail a check to LPCCI P.O. BOX 3896, Santa Rosa CA 95402. Please specify LIONS DEN-SCR on your donation.