by Leslie Csokasy
|Eddie aka Last Hitter|
One night I had a thought... why not have a racer run for a local RMHC charity where any earnings would be donated to the kids. If the pupper was young enough, the kids could name him and possibly see him. Once he was done racing, he could test as a therapy dog, be adopted to someone interested in continuing his mission, and visit the kids. Win for the kids, a win for the House, a win for the dog, and the racing community could embrace a charity that they believe in (we have a history of raising funds for kids). And, a little positive PR for the racing industry as a byproduct would be an added bonus.
I presented it and a lot of interest was generated. Money was raised to purchase a hound at a reduced fee, a graded dog was donated, tracks hopped on board, the therapy program was thrilled, and I had saved some funds to fly out and evaluate the potential farm pup as a therapy dog (I also work with a therapy dog certification program). We talked about it in a heated fervor online. It was a happy, exciting thing.
I put together a presentation, asked my House director for support and input. Sounded good. Everyone loves "Fast Eddie" at the House (although he was never fast...he never made it out of schooling). Networking began and some of the Houses were very interested. They do all kinds of fundraisers with poker night, horse racing, NASCAR, etc. Then, I got a phone call.
|Eddie at Ronald McDonald House|
The children would never get to meet THEIR greyhounds. So, for now, Last Hitter, aka Eddie aka Fast Eddie will have to do. As will the other adopted dogs making a difference out there as therapy dogs.
Here is a picture of Eddie at the House last year. (I hope it isn't too big). Some of the kids brought sticker books to show him. He ended up being a good sport and wearing a few, to their delight. The funniest thing that happened was some little girl came up to me and asked politely if she could pet my goat. It took me a few seconds to realize she meant Eddie!! He is getting a little grey in the face...
Grey2K doesn't care about the children they claim to want to fundraise for. If they did, they would have let the kids have a dog to believe in, to hope for, to love. I love my dogs and love what they can do.