By: GDB graduate Tracy Boyd
Spring and summer were packed full of events for Mommies with Guides (MWG)! After making a splash in our Real Simple magazine article and appearing on the Portland area news, our focus turned to grass roots work. In May, MWG was privileged to be invited to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Pinot and Pups Gala in which record breaking funds were raised to support GDB programs.
Two events in June included substantial walks with our guides, families, and friends. The Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade walk was four miles long and the dogs did a fantastic job! We were proud to represent GDB and pleased with the number of observers and news outlets that recognized GDB. The second event in June was the Glen Neighborhood Fair, where we did some fundraising – selling our beautiful bracelets as well as print copies of the painting “The Guide” which is a wonderful depiction beautifully capturing the independence a guide dog provides to a mother of young children. Our Final June event was the Oregon Vision Walk for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. That walk was only three miles and we were joined by many new faces to MWG. Our group was over 50 participant's strong including family and friends. MWG even took away three awards for largest group, most team spirit, and best t-shirts! It was very satisfying to lend our support to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Oregon Vision Walk, which raised $39,000 (MWG is proud to say we raised $1,100), plus we had fun contributing to such a worthwhile cause. We also received a generous sponsorship for 60 MWG t-shirts from Gresham Ford.
Mommies with Guides took a collective break in July so members could recharge and spend time with family. Our work takes on a different intensity when the kiddos are home in the summer and it helps to keep them busy with activities. In late August, members of MWG attended Oral Hull Fund Day. Oral Hull is a park located in the outskirts of Portland, Oregon which is designed specifically for the low vision and blind community. This event was the primary fundraiser for the park and included: a BBQ lunch, many vendors, games for kids and live music. As fall quickly approaches, MWG intends to keep up the pace. A picnic was planned in late September at a member's home and it was a chance to just socialize and not worry about an organized event. Tentative plans this month include a Harvest weekend at Oral Hull park for members and our families. MWG will join the Alumni Chapter Raining Canines for a couple of events in November and December. Other events are likely to be scheduled as the season progresses. In between these events, MWG members meet via conference call on a monthly basis. Our group is unique as it includes mommies with guide dogs in many different regions of the United States, although the founding members are from the Portland area.
We look forward to sharing experiences with and supporting each other as well as educating the general public around us! You can also check us out of Facebook: www.facebook.com/mommieswithguides