The Raymond James Qualicum Beach Branchdonated $5,000 to the Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs. Attending the presentation were, from left: Mike Annan (Executive Director, Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs ), Stéphane Marcotte (military Veteran), Sarge, PTSD Service Dog, David Nellist (Senior Financial Advisor, Branch Manager, Raymond James Qualicum Beach) and Shirley Nellist (Branch Administrator, Raymond James Qualicum Beach). — Submitted photo

$5,000 donated to VI Compassion Dogs

Raymond James Qualicum Beach pleased to support group

Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs received a boost from the Raymond James Qualicum Beach branch, in the form of a $5,000 cheque.

“Like many families in Canada, our family has a history of past military and service members – including a current ‘active-duty’ member involved in the Canadian Armed Forces,” says branch administrator Shirley Nellist.

“Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs has become an important organization for us, which we take pride in supporting.”

VICD, a Division of B.C. Guide Dogs, matches professionally-trained PTSD Service Dogs with military and RCMP Veterans living with an Operational Stress Injury.

The teams embark on a 52-week Healthy Community Living Program that teaches strategies that support community transition, inclusion and accessibility.

“Matching a dog to a service member creates trust, reliance, provides support and can give the member a new lease on life,” said David Nellist, senior financial advisor, branch manager, Raymond James Qualicum Beach.

“We view Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs as a valuable resource in ‘serving those who served’ given the resulting and often long-lasting effects those members experience.”

The certified PTSD service dogs are provided, along with training and aftercare support, at no cost to recipients for the working life of the dog, typically eight years. The organization relies on donations from generous sponsors to provide these essential services.

Much of the organization’s funding comes from individual and corporate donations, legacy gifts, foundations and its fundraising events.

One such event is An Evening of Compassion for Veterans, which is taking place on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

The evening will feature inspirational speakers from the PTSD Service Dog Program, and a silent and live auction. Tickets are $50 and include appetizers by Galloping Gourmet and a complimentary welcome beverage. Live music will be provided by Dinah D’s Contraband Swingclub.

Raymond James Qualicum Beach Branch is returning again this year as the event’s diamond sponsor and has tickets available for purchase at Suite 103 – 193 Second Avenue West, Qualicum Beach, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is also available online at www.bcguidedog.com.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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