More than 180 supporters of Guide Dogs for the Blind joined us last Sunday for “Come Fly with Us” at the Birnam Wood Golf Club in Montecito, Calif. The intimate fundraiser featured keynote speakers Lorri and Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (pictured above), and raised more than $52,000. The proceeds of the event will help support veterinary care and programs in the Santa Barbara tri-county area, where 22 puppies and 24 Guide Dog teams currently reside.
Sully provided a deeply moving presentation in regard to the fateful day when he and his crew safely landed an Airbus in the frigid waters of the Hudson River. Lorrie also spoke about that day and how the accident changed their lives and those of their family forever. The Sullenbergers have been members of the GDB family for more than twenty years. Their daughters have raised two Guide Dog puppies, and they have been volunteer custodians to four of GDB’s breeding stock dogs. Their current breeder dog, Fame, was by their side during the presentation.
In addition, GDB’s new CEO Paul Lopez was introduced and provided his background and vision for Guide Dogs for the Blind, while alumnus Vickie Kennedy and her Guide Angela wowed the crowd with an emotional, passionate speech. More than a dozen puppy raisers and several working Guide Dog teams were in attendance, making sure that all of our guests received plenty of puppy love. It was a great event, and a wonderful opportunity to share our story with our supporters and friends in the Santa Barbara Area.