Reminder: Ride for Independence to Benefit Fidelco Blinded Veterans Program is Sunday, July 19, 2015!

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Features Field of Flags, Grand Marshal Ray Collins, Honorary Grand Marshals Rick Kowalker and Melody, K9 Demonstrations, Lunch by Black Eyed Sally's, Music by Shovelhead, and More!

Two Fidelco German Shepherd Guides Dogs In-Training Welcome Riders
This motorcycle fundraiser celebrates the increased freedom and independence that Fidelco German Shepherd Guide Dogs provide to men and women who are blind, especially military veterans.

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation will hold its Fifth Annual Ride for Independence on Sunday, July 19, 2015. This motorcycle fundraiser celebrates the increased freedom and independence that Fidelco German Shepherd Guide Dogs provide to men and women who are blind, especially military veterans.

The family-friendly event begins and ends at Fidelco’s beautiful Bloomfield campus. Riders will cruise a scenic, police-escorted 50-mile route through the Farmington Valley and return to Fidelco for a gourmet barbeque lunch by Black Eyed Sally’s, a live concert by southern rock band Shovelhead, and more.

No bike, no problem: Everyone is encouraged to attend to cheer on the riders and enjoy lunch and music along with vendors, K-9 demonstrations, and Fidelco dogs.

Fidelco's Field of Flags, a tribute to American heroes and fallen military, first responders, and veterans will be on display. For a $10 donation, Fidelco will add a flag in honor of your hero at the event or through http://www.fidelco.org/field-of-flags-2015.

The Grand Marshal of the 2015 Ride for Independence is Fidelco client Raymond Collins, United States Marine Corps (Ret.). Ray has been partnered with five Fidelco Guide Dogs. An employee of the Plymouth, Massachusetts, County Sheriff's Department for more than 30 years, Ray is also member of the United States Association of Blind Athletes and is a 1996 Paralympics champion.

We are also honored that Rick Kowalker (USMC, Ret.), riding on his beloved horse Melody, will serve as honorary Grand Marshal. Kowalker and Melody are well-known for having attended more than 700 military funerals.

In addition, Patriot Guard Riders will present an Honor and Remember flag to the Glastonbury, Conn., family of Army Sgt. Steven J. Deluzio, who died August 22, 2010, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom.

About Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation
The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Bloomfield, CT. Fidelco is an internationally accredited organization and an admired expert throughout the world for its highly valued German Shepherd Guide Dogs.

Each Fidelco Guide Dog takes two years, 15,000 hours and $45,000 to breed, raise, and train. They are given to clients at no cost. Fidelco provides 24/7 client support for the entire working life of its guide dogs – typically 10 years. Fidelco relies solely on the generosity and financial support of individuals, foundations, corporations, and civic organizations to help Share the Vision®.

Fidelco has trained and placed more than 1,400 German Shepherd Guide Dogs throughout North America – in 41 states and five Canadian provinces. Fidelco pioneered In-Community Placement in the United States — a process that allows all guide dog users to be trained in the communities where they live and work.

Fidelco also has placed hundreds of its German Shepherd Dogs with law enforcement agencies, first responders, and search and rescue and missing child recovery organizations to help protect our fellow citizens and keep our communities safe.

For more information, please visit http://www.fidelco.org or “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/fidelcoguidedog

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Julie Unwin

Julie Unwin
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