Despite weather that definitely limited the crowd, Friday’s football game at Dewey Field between Perry and Webster City still managed to lend support to those helping others in a big way.
Dedicated to raising awareness of, and donations for, the Puppy Jake Foundation, the Bluejay efforts succeeded on both accounts.
The Puppy Jake Foundation awards specially trained service dogs to qualifying veterans with mobility issues or those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). The cost to apply is the only expense for the veteran, for those selected will be paired with a life-long service companion.
The costs to raise and train such dogs can rise as high as $20,000 each. Des Moines-based Puppy Jake is a non-profit charity, which corporate and private donations funding all operations.
Iowa National Guard Staff Sergeant Travis Murphy and his golden retriever friend, Reagan, a Puppy Jake graduate, were honorary captains for Friday’s game and participated in the coin toss at midfield prior to kickoff.
Several weeks of t-shirt sales were held and the Perry cheerleaders passed through the crowd collection donations. The public was able to drop off donations or gifts at the PHS office during the week, and gift drop-box was on hand near the admission gate to accept dog-themed gifts.
Organizers noted a considerable amount of doggy treats, toys, collars and leashes had been donated, with the various efforts raising $844 for Puppy Jake.