Join Canine Companions for Independence® at the 10 year celebration of the Northeast Region’s Miller Family Campus. The afternoon will include food stations by local restaurants, local wines and spirits, veteran comedians, a live and silent auction, along with inspirational stories from those whose lives have been transformed through partnerships with their Canine Companions® assistance dogs.
We are grateful to all our supporters who helped us achieve the matching of 500 teams, perform 1,100 follow-ups with graduate teams and raise almost 1,200 puppies during the last decade at our location in Medford, NY. We invite you to take a virtual tour of the Miller Family Campus with Heidi, our resident facility dog.
The celebration is open to Canine Companions assistance dogs and Canine Companions puppies over the age of 6 months.
Guests will enjoy food stations by local restaurants, local wines and spirits, veteran comedians, a live and silent auction, along with inspirational stories from Canine Companions graduates.
Tickets will be $100 after October 1. You may also purchase tickets by calling Debra MacKenzie at (631) 561-0207.
For hotel information, please contact Debra MacKenzie at (631) 561-0207.
RSVP Deadline: November 4
Enjoy these photos from the 2008 grand opening celebration of the
Miller Family Campus!
Master of Ceremonies Lea Tyrrell
Emmy Award-winning Long Island Broadcast Journalist Lea Tyrrell
Dana Perino, Fox News Anchor
The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino
Michael Carrasquillo & Ojai
Sergeant Michael Carrasquillo (USA Ret., Purple Heart recipient) was an airborne infantryman and fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Veteran Maria Batdorff, stand-up comedian and member of the Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP)
Volunteer puppy raiser Jackie Cheshire and her family have been involved with Canine Companions helping to make a difference.
Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.
The assistance dogs we breed, raise and train aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends. They open up new opportunities and new possibilities, and spread incredible joy. We unite people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater independence and confidence.
The Miller Family
Anne E. Gittinger
Nancy and Terry McGrawPedigree
Estate of Roger O. Walter
Old Dominion Chapter 2018
Ann and Bob Benson
Catherine and Dave Thompson
In Honor of Kristin & John Miller - Gabi and Stefan Goetz
Eva Chiorando, Austin Williams
Nick Pasquarosa, Bookkeeper360
The Elena Melius Foundation
Nattavadee and William Hillegass
GCP Capital Group, LLC
Louis & Penny Croce
The Earle Family
Victoria Ryan, VR/PR
Col. E. David Woycik Jr. and Carolyn Sanchez Woycik
Gordon L. Seaman, Inc.
John & Tender
Pequa Home Improvements, Inc.
Estelle & Phil Aaron
Susan and Mark Winters
Primi Italian Steakhouse
Bacaro Italian Tavern
Athenian Greek Taverna
Hilltop Bagel Cafe
As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Miller Family Campus and all of its remarkable achievements, we hope you will consider joining us in this commemorative occasion as a sponsor of the event.
Select a sponsorship level.
In her 30 years of covering Long Island as an anchor and reporter, Lea Tyrrell has become one of Long Island's most well-known and respected journalists. If it’s happened in Nassau or Suffolk counties, Lea has brought the story into your living room. Lea and her family have been long-time supporters and advocates of Canine Companions for Independence. Lea graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in communications from the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury. Lea has worked with a number of Long Island educational, civic and community service organizations, including the Board of Overseers of the New York Institute of Technology, the American Heart Association and the National Center for Disability Services. Lea lives on Long Island with her husband Frank, daughter Victoria and two miniature dachshunds.
Originally from Wyoming and Colorado where she studied journalism and political science, Dana Perino is the former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, the first GOP woman to hold the job.
Currently, she serves as the anchor of The Daily Briefing and cohost of The Five and her podcast “I’ll Tell You What” on Fox News.
Dana also regularly provides political and election commentary across all the Fox News platforms.
She is the New York Times bestselling author of two books: “And The Good News Is” and “Let me Tell You About Jasper”.
Dana is also the founder of Minute Mentoring for young professional women starting their careers. She served on the broadcasting board of governors under Obama Administration and is an active supporter of Companions for Heroes and Mercy Ships.
Sergeant Michael Carrasquillo (USA Ret., Purple Heart recipient) was an airborne infantryman and fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was severely wounded in a firefight during an air assault mission in Afghanistan while attempting to pull an injured member of his unit to safety.
After being injured in 2005, Sgt. Carrasquillo spent two years recovering at Walter Reed Hospital, with more than 40 surgeries. In May 2016, Sgt. Carrasquillo was matched with assistance dog Ojai IV after completing two weeks of Team Training at the Miller Family Campus. Ojai is a labrador retriever trained to respond to over 40 commands, such as opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off and retrieving dropped items.
Today, Sgt. Carrasquillo lives in Clarksburg, Maryland, with his wife Jenny and new son Logan, and is active in veterans outreach programs. Sgt. Carraquillo says Ojai is an incredible addition to his life, “He’s everything I didn’t even know I was missing. He’s perfect. It’s like he was made just for me. It's greater than love. He's family," said Carrasquillo. "I've seen more improvement in myself, in my relationships with others, my life has significantly changed in this last year that we've been together. Our family cannot thank Canine Companions for Independence enough.”
Maria Batdorff is a native of Michigan. She went to Grand Valley State University for her undergraduate degree and joined the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer in 2008. She was active duty until 2016 when she transitioned to the Navy Reserves where she continues to serve. Maria is a graduate of Armed Services Arts Partnership Comedy Boot Camp Spring 2017 class. ASAP is a nonprofit organization which offers workshops, classes, and performances for veterans wishing to dip their toes in the performing arts.
Michael Garvey intertwines PTSD with his comedy. Garvey, a retired Marine from Maryland, gave eight years of service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat in 2015. After his physical wounds healed, he started experiencing the psychological wounds associated with PTSD. He was soon partnered with his service dog 'Liberty', through the Puppies Behind Bars program.
Next came comedy. Garvey found himself wanting to pursue something different. Having always “liked comedy but been too afraid to do it,” he enrolled in Comedy Bootcamp, a program run by the Armed Services Arts Partnership a nonprofit in the D.C. Metro area and Hampton Roads, Virginia. Their mission is to “reintegrate veterans into their communities through the arts.” He now an instructor in the comedy boot camp program.
Stephanie Kline performs stand-up across the Washington D.C. area and her comedy has been featured on podcasts and local radio. Kline uses the perils of physical training and service rivalries in her act, and she says women can find common ground with her jokes. "I talk about a lot of the same struggles that a lot of other women have like staying in shape," she said. "It relates whether you are in uniform or not." Kline is a Marine Corps veteran and works on defense policy in Arlington, Virginia.
A motivator is defined as a person who promotes interest in or enthusiasm for something. Volunteer puppy raiser Jackie Cheshire and her family do just that by leading puppy class in their area, and motivating other puppy raisers through their puppy raising journey.
Jackie has served as a chair for DogFest Washington DC since its inception five years ago and raised more than $80,000 in 2017. Jackie’s passion goes above those of a volunteer. She has provided the Northeast with many opportunities in the Northern VA area and is always willing to eloquently speak on behalf of Canine Companions.
In 2015, Jackie received Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism Award, which honors people engaged in volunteer activities benefiting the greater community. In 2017, Jackie was awarded the Canine Companions Jack Warnock Volunteer Service Award which honors volunteers who have exhibited significant dedication to Canine Companions and its mission.