It’s time to hit the dance floor to support a good cause this Sunday.
Menifee-based nonprofit Canine Support Teams, Inc. is throwing its inaugural Hot Summer Night event at Wooden Nickel Ranch. The event will feature live music from classic rock/country outfit The Silverados, raffles, prizes, a silent auction, face painting and barbeque.
Founded in 1989, Canine Support Teams provides service dogs to people with disabilities, excluding blindness, and are placed to clients free of charge.
The nonprofit, located at 26500 Scott Road, relies solely on grants and donations to help feed and train the dogs.
It is struggling this year because, like many nonprofits, it has received fewer grants and donations.
“It’s just making it a little bit tougher for us,” senior instructor Donna Willis of the economy. “So far we’re making it, so that’s good. We’re just doing the best we can.”
Service dogs are trained to perform numerous tasks for clients, including open doors, close drawers, retrieve dropped items, turn lights on and off, remove clothing items and provide stability.
Proceeds from Hot Summer Night will benefit the nonprofit’s PAWZ for Wounded Veterans Program, which was founded in 2008 and provides service dogs to wounded veterans. Currently, there are about 15 local veterans awaiting service dogs to help assist them in their post-military lives.
Since its founding, the program has helped to provide former Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq veterans with service dogs.
Willis said they are hoping for a turnout of about 200 on Sunday.
“This is a first-time event, and hopefully it’s going to be an annual one,” she said. “The response (so far) has been great.”
Willis said there is a large wooden dancing floor at the ranch-style venue, which is owned and was donated for the event by Menifee Councilman Tom Fuhrman.
“It’s a great environment for this theme,” Willis said.
She also clarified that she will not be dancing herself — unless solicited.
“If somebody wants to pull me on the dance floor and teach me some dance lessons, I’ll try,” Willis said, laughing.
“It’s definitely country. It’s definitely gonna be hot,” she said. “We’re looking to have a really fun event.”
Hot Country Night
What: Proceeds to benefit Menifee-based Canine Support Teams’ PAWZ for Wounded Veterans Program
When: 4-8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14
Where: Wooden Nickel Ranch, 25690 Holland Road, Menifee
Tickets: Adults $20 in advance or $25 at the door; Children ages 12 and younger $15 in advance or $20 at the door
More info: 951-301-3625, caninesupportteams.org
The nonprofit’s annual goal is to donate 30 dogs via four “team training” events, where local disabled individuals meet with the service dogs and are paired together.
This year, the nonprofit will hold only two team training events due to a decreased budget. The first was held in March, during which two dogs were placed. The last team meeting of the year will be held in September.
A specific date has not yet been decided.
Those who wish to donate to the organization can call the venue’s main number at 951-301-3625.
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