Every year, Kingston Police support National Service Dogs (NSD) in their efforts to provide service dogs to assist people, regardless of ability, and allow them integrate into communities with confidence, ease and acceptance.
Vern’s Holiday Market, the annual local fundraising NSD initiative named after ‘Vern’, a yellow lab/retriever, from the NSD Canine Assisted Intervention Program (CAI), who was donated to Kingston Police in 2015, is yet another in-person event which has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release from Kingston Police, dated Thursday, Nov. 27, 2020.
Despite the cancellation of the in-person event, Vern’s Little Bake Sale Friends, a family who sells baked goods every year at the Holiday Market, raised money through a bottle drive, and were able to sponsor an NSD puppy all on their own.
“The strength and success of Vern’s Holiday Market is due to the dedication of our generous sponsors, community, volunteers and local vendors who share in this vision and come to celebrate with us at the market,” said Constable Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer – Community-Oriented Response and Engagement Unit for Kingston Police. “We have raised enough money over the past two years to sponsor seven life changing puppies. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we weren’t able to host Vern’s Holiday Market this year but this didn’t stop Vern’s Little Bake Sale Friends. Every year their entire family comes together and sells baked goods to help Vern at his market.”
“In 2018 they raised $500 and in 2019 a whopping $700, all of which was donated to NSD,” Constable Gutheinz continued. “Although disappointed that they couldn’t bake for the market this year, it did not stop them. They decided to hold a bottle drive instead and spent months collecting enough bottles to raise the $1500 required to sponsor an NSD puppy all on their own. We are excited to congratulate Vern’s Little Bake Sale Friends on all of their hard work and to introduce everyone to their sponsored puppy NSD ‘Reece’.”
National Service Dogs (NSD) is a registered Canadian Charity dedicated to expanding possibilities for children and adults living with the challenge of a disability, by matching them with Certified Service Dogs. For over 20 years National Service Dogs have been changing lives for the better. Helping children with autism stay safe, empowering veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through recovery and supporting individuals with physical and mental trauma. Service dogs play an essential role in the lives of those who depend on them.