Clients Served Through Endowed Activities

By Kathryn Tuck

Published in: Update - Issue 3 - 2015 »   
Photo of a man walking on a sidewalk with a white cane and smiling. A young woman walks behind him

LaTesha Hughes, Western Michigan University
graduate student and O&M Intern in the Edward
T. and Ellen K. Dryer Orientation and Mobility
Internship Academy Program instructs a client
during Accelerated O&M Training.

Beginning in late 2012, Leader Dog initiated one of our largest endowments to serve clients in the Accelerated Orientation & Mobility Training program (O&M). The Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Orientation and Mobility Internship Academy has since supplied nine master’s-level students with a paid internship while they work with Leader Dog’s award winning O&M program. During the 16-week internship, students spend 250 hours performing case management and 350 hours working directly with Leader Dog clients who are learning white cane skills. The endowment makes it possible to host three to four interns annually. One past intern has even been hired as a full-time Certified O&M Specialist at Leader Dog. By December 2015, we will have utilized $250,000 in start-up grant funds and $1,500 annually in endowed funds from the Dryer Foundation to establish and implement the Academy.

In 2013, Leader Dog received an endowment to support clients and their working Leader Dogs. The Berger Working Team Veterinary Care Fund financially assists client-dog teams where the Leader Dog requires non-routine veterinary care to extend the life of the working team. In the Fund’s first full year of operation, 67 teams were assisted with over $21,000 in endowed funds.

Leader Dog is actively seeking additional support in the form of endowments, especially in the areas of major/continuing veterinary care, professional development and operations of the new Canine Development Center. If you or your financial planner would like to discuss grant and endowment support, please contact Kathryn Tuck, director of foundation giving at 248/218.6431 or