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El Patio Is For The Dogs – Weekend Event Supporting Veterans, First Responders and Mental Health Inititives

KAWARTHA LAKES – El Patio Is For The Dogs.

Tonight kicks off a weekend of festivities at El Patio, 58 Bolton Street, Bobcaygeon, in support of Searchlight Service Dogs and other veteran and first responder mental health initiatives.

“El Patio’ Is For the Dogs” will be kicking off a series of fundraising efforts by Veterans and Everyday Heroes.  These fundraising initiatives focus on raising the much-needed funds to support veterans and emergency responders with service dogs to support PTSD and other operational stress injuries.

Owner of El Patio, Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan, will be on site along with Veterans and Everyday Heroes, joined by Mad Hatter Industries and Arrowhead Coffee for a full weekend of fun to support the cause.

“I think everybody is facing challenges especially right now, sometimes people don’t talk about it, maybe it’s time we bring it into the spotlight. Our community is so supportive, and we need to remember what the veterans have done, they have risked their lives for our country, we need to remember that especially right now, good gosh, the division within our country,” she said. “They give it all for our freedom, Canada is the land of the free. We need to remember that.”

Searchlight Service Dogs is a Canadian Registered Not-for-Profit Charitable Organization, operating in Ontario since 2019.  Their main objective is to provide the highest quality service dogs to their clients.

According to their website, they understand the outstanding benefits a service dog can have in helping people regain portions of their lives which have been lost to PTSD and other mental health conditions.

​And with the severe lack of properly trained Psychiatric Service Dogs, this organization became more and more interested in getting involved in order to make a difference.  Searchlight Service Dogs do not receive any government funding and rely on generous donations from individuals and corporations in order to keep operating and helping people, making this event even more important.

​“It’s such an important cause, it will be a fun weekend and visitors will be able to meet the heros who have put their lives on the line to protect our country and our freedom, they will be there,” said Councillor Seymour-Fagan. “Not a lot of people get to meet veterans, and we need to realize that many veterans are only 30 years old, that is absolutely eye opening when you start meeting these younger, injured men.”

El Patio will be serving up and celebrating the return of their signature Red Ale, beer for the cause, and part of the proceeds will also go to assisting the mental health and wellness of veterans and first responders in our communities.

An abundance of door prizes are available to be won, generously donated by various community members and a pop-up DJ will be kicking things off tonight. Jody Mitic, Canadian Politician and retired soldier will also be hosting a coffee bar takeover on Saturday and Sunday, serving up Arrowhead Coffee with the proceeds going to various mental health initiatives.

Arrowhead Coffee Company is Canadian SOF Veteran Owned and Operated and was inspired while on deployments with the Canadian Armed Forces. Their mission isn’t just great coffee, but it’s to give back to the greater Sheepdog community incl. but not limited to Veteran, Law Enforcement and Emergency services.

Mitic served 20 years in the military, first as a reservist and then as a regular member of the infantry Corp. and he was in the first battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. He was also a Master-Sniper and led a team of three snipers in Afghanistan.

Jody Mitic in Afghanistan during operations against the Taliban
Courtesy – Jody Mitic

“It’s easy to be average. If you wish to have a career of excitement and adventure you need to be willing to stand out a little when your time comes,” he said. “Represent the flag on your shoulder and remember that you stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before you.”

As a veteran, Mitic was elected for Ottawa City council and also made it on to The Amazing Race Canada season 1 where he came in second place with his brother.
But his success doesn’t end there. Mitic has had two books published;  Unflinching: the making of a Canadian sniper and Everyday Heroes: a collection of stories from other service members.
“Arrowhead Coffee is very excited about this opportunity to work with El Patio and everyone else to raise funds for service dogs for deserving veterans,” he said. “We are looking forward to meeting everyone. I would love to meet and hang out with anyone who can make it to the event. Service dogs are becoming more and more important to Veterans and their families, to help individuals live their best lives in the present.”

 

For more information on Searchlight Service Dogs or to donate, visit searchlighqtservicedogs.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Walker
Jennifer decided to study journalism after having a life long passion for writing. She began her career as a reporter for the Uxbridge Times Journal and moved on to freelance work for various publications after her and her husband welcomed their daughters. She has been published in various Durham Region newspapers, the Durham Parent Magazine as well as Equine Wellness. Jennifer continues to follow her dreams as a wife, mother and journalist and is so excited to join the team at Kawartha411.

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