Keller Williams Realty is sponsoring the Bayberry Lakes fourth annual Run/Walk/Bike 5K.
Proceeds from the Saturday, Oct. 30, event will benefit K-9 Line, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide service dogs and other resources to disabled veterans, Gold Star families and contractors who served the U.S. overseas.
Erin Schwarb, the event chairwoman and a Keller Williams real estate agent, explained registration will begin Sept. 11 in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Sharon Love and her ex-husband founded K-9 Line in 2017. They were motivated by a friend’s attempt to be gifted a therapy dog for his seizures. The friend, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Army, waited two years for a charity to provide the therapy dog. Finally notified a dog was available, he learned the charity was not able to help him with his seizures.
Ms. Love and her ex-husband went to a local shelter to select and train a dog for their friend. That dog is 100% deaf, but can now predict their friend’s seizures.
K-9 Line in Edgewater prefers to use the word Warrior for anyone they assist. Their goal is to help the Warrior transition back to civilian life. “This year we have paired up 15 (dogs with recipients) and five are in the pipeline,” Ms. Love said. “If they have a dog, they can use it. As long as it fits the criteria.”
K-9 Line currently serves Florida.
“I would love to be all around the country someday,” Ms. Love responded when asked about expanding the charity’s services.
The companion dogs are trained based on the needs of the Warrior. The dog and Warrior work together with the guidance of a certified trainer. It typically lasts between four and six weeks at a cost ranging from $3,000 to $20,000. However, there is no cost to the Warrior. The charity relies on donations and fundraisers, such as the one Keller Williams is sponsoring.
Keller Williams is an international real estate company with headquarters in Austin, Texas, and local offices in New Smyrna Beach, Ormond Beach and Port Orange. They nurture a corporate culture of give where you live.
Participants for the Bayberry Lakes 5K will meet at the clubhouse at Bayberry Lakes Boulevard and Elderberry Lane in Daytona Beach Saturday, Oct. 30. In-person registration begins at 7 a.m. The event has a scheduled start time of 8 a.m. You can donate or register in advance at the event website. https://tinyurl.com/y6ahahfw
In addition to placing companion dogs, K-9 Line also participates in a veterans' referral service. To learn more about the referral service, apply for a companion dog or donate, visit k9line.org.