Delta teams came to the Special Olympics KC Metro Spring Games on Saturday, April 16 at Lee’s Summit North High School. Athletes, families, friends and volunteers all enjoyed the canine company. Thanks to all the teams who braved the cold and windy weather. You all were a hit!
MO-KAN Participants were:
Amy Bennett and Ginger
Julie Yoder and Jackson
Jackie Taylor and Reba
Carol Wells and Jonah
Georgia Williamson and Lady Kathryn
Cathy Leschena and Rudy
A big thanks to Amy Wurst who managed the event!
Jackie Taylor & Reba
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Garden Terrace Alzheimer Facility is one of the facilities Laurie Barksdale, Amy Bennett and Patty Levine visit. Each year they have a brunch or dinner for the volunteers. They always choose a volunteer of the year and this year Amy Bennett was chosen. When Amy became a Delta member a couple of years ago and was looking for a facility Patty asked her if she would like to shadow them at Garden Terrace. Amy thought the facility would be a good match since her father had been a patient a few years ago, and she also lives close. Amy visits the facility with her Redbone Coonhound, Ginger, one Sunday a month, and also every holiday. Amy also volunteers frequently in the garden at GardenTerrace.
BELLEVUE, WA., February 25, 2009 –Sherri L. (Bradley) Rusch and Cali, her Labrador Retriever, from Warrensburg, MO are one of just four Pet Partners (therapy animal) teams being honored as winners in the international Delta Society Beyond Limits Award sponsored by Purina.Honorees were chosen from over ten thousand registered Pet Partners teams representing 13 countries.
Delta Society Pet Partners are specially trained volunteers who with their pet (cat, dog, rabbit, llama, etc.) dedicate themselves to helping improve the lives of others in their communities.They visit hospitalized patients, seniors in assisted living centers, comfort people in hospice, help children learn to read and so much more.
Sherri and StarquestMy Girl “Cali”recently won the Pet Partners Animal-Assisted Therapy and Practicing Professional category.This award recognizes professionals who utilize Animal-Assisted Therapy within their practice.
From August to May, speech-language pathologist Sherri L.(Bradley) Rusch, M.S., CCC-SLP and Cali attend school each day at Warrensburg High School. This dedicated Pet Partners team maintain their demanding daily work schedule in order to help students reach their therapy goals and create a better overall environment for the entire school. At the very least, Cali’s presence seems to create a safe atmosphere for sharing and serves as a stress reliever to students and teachers alike. But Cali’s hallway interactions often play a more overt role with the students Sherri serves professionally: helping to open up dialogue, facilitate interactions, and provide motivation for students to reach their therapy goals. “They forget about not wanting to come to therapy. They forget they are working to improve self-control and social skills,” Sherri says. The team often works with students who struggle from Autism spectrum disorders, helping them improve self-control and social skills. One student says Cali is his “addiction” and pets or hugs her for long periods of time to calm down when he is overwhelmed. With a simple thump, thump, thump of her tail, Cali is able to communicate love and understanding in a way that can only come from the human-animal bond.
“It is heart-warming to see students who don’t ever smile and say kind words to others, melt in Cali’s presence. This partnership had made a difference in countless lives; we can’t possibly measure the positive impact they have made,” states Simone Dillingham, the Principal ofWarrensburg High School.
Please join us in congratulating and thanking Sherri and Cali on receiving this special award and for all that they do to bring joy, compassion, motivation and inspiration to many people in your community!
About Delta Society
Delta Society, an international 501(c)(3) non profit, was founded in 1977 by a veterinarian and a psychologist who observed in their own practices that pets had a positive effect on their human patients.They started the organization to fund some of the first credible research which proved that animals have a profound impact on people’s health by lowering their blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety levels, stimulating the release of endorphins which make people feel good, and so much more.Today, Delta Society helps people across the world become healthier and happier by experiencing the benefits of having companion, service and therapy animals in their everyday lives. To learn more visit our website at www.deltasociety.org.
About Nestlé Purina Pet Care
Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina Pet Care is part of the Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., the world’s largest pet food company.
Sherri Rusch and Cali evaluated with MO-KAN two years ago. Their team received a complex on April 11, 2009, and we are proud to welcome them as members of MO-KAN.
WOMEN'S HEART HEALTH WALL
Few people realize that heart disease is the #1 killer of women and men. The good news is that heart disease can largely be prevented. The Clay County Health Center is asking businesses and organizations to show their support for Women's Heart Health Awareness by wearing Red as a group, taking a photo and submitting to the Clay County Public Health Center to display on our "Women's Heart Health Wall" at the health center. Thank you for your support and assistance in getting the word out about Heart Health. We invite everyone to stop by on February 27, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. for our open house, view participating group photos, enjoy fellowship and some healthy snacks. Please check out www.clayhealth.com.
Several Delta Society members participated in the "Women's Heart Health Wall". They are from left to right: Laurie Barksdale and Boomer, Linda Sauer and Lucy, Heddie Leger and Hero, Patty Levine and Cheri, and Dana Marsh and Megan.
MO-KAN Receives Grant
MO-KAN Pet Partners received a $5000.00 grant from the Hearts and Hands Committee, an arm of the Service Partners Organization, to be used specifically for training of our members. Watch for detailed story in the next MO-KAN newsletter.
Thanks to Joyce Maas who was instrumental in obtaining the grant. Also, a big thanks to Shirley May who wrote the grant and presented it, along with Joyce, to the Committee.