Janie and John Connors, who own Sepulveda Building Materials, started giving to Guide Dogs of America in 1999. They began by purchasing items from our Wish List and gave our South Bay Puppy Raiser Group calendars as presents. Now they have made Guide Dogs of America the sole charity of choice for their company’s annual charity golf tournament. “We were looking to donate to a charity that puts most of its money into their programs,” Janie says. “Plus, Guide Dogs of America graduates these amazing dogs not just because of one person’s efforts, but because of the combination of all these wonderful people, the trainers, kennel and administration staff, and everyone else. That makes me proud to be an American, because that’s what this country does, work as a team.”
Their first sponsored puppy, Kate, graduated in 2003. Since then they have sponsored 24 additional puppies. But their commitment to Guide Dogs of America doesn’t stop there. They have introduced their customers and vendors to GDA as well. “Everyone really steps up,” enthuses Janie. “All of these amazing people giving whatever money they are able to a cause they really, really believe in.”
Some of the vendors who have become friends of Guide Dogs of America include Rick Muth from Orco Block who has sponsored nine puppies on his own, Larry Collins from Blue Daisy Cement Products who has been supporting the Charity Golf Tournament since 2006, and John Miller from Miller United Insurance Company.
Janie would also like to acknowledge Guide Dogs of America’s devoted puppy raisers. “These individuals don’t just take a puppy home.” Janie explained. “They train them, love them, and then they give their ‘heart’ back after a year and a half.”
“Everyone involved with Guide Dogs of America has an amazing passion for what they do,” Janie said in closing. “It makes it easy for us to pass along their passion to our customers, vendors, friends, and family.”
We are deeply saddened to announce that John passed away on December 30, 2012. He was a dear friend of Guide Dogs of America for many, many years and his dedication to our organization provided the precious gift of guide dogs to countless visually impaired individuals. He will be greatly missed.