Portland, OR. Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) hosted a benefit called Tassels & Tails which doubled as a graduation ceremony for the individuals using the highly trained dogs. GDB graduations typically take place at the nonprofit’s campus in Boring, but Tassels & Tails aimed to expose a broader audience to GDB’s life-changing mission by bringing the festivities to 240 people in Downtown Portland at the Hilton. At the benefit, puppy raisers also had the opportunity to join clients on stage and celebrate their new partnerships.

GDB supporter Howard Hedinger visits with Camille Jassney and her guide dog Egan.

Seven Pacific Northwest natives graduated in the ceremony and had the opportunity to walk across the stage with their new guide dogs and share their gratitude for the GDB staff, raisers and the broader community.  Prior to the ceremony, on February 10th, graduates had the opportunity to spend time with the individuals who raised their guide dogs. In addition, the event offered a paid luncheon and fundraising opportunities to support the veterinary/critical care of GDB guide dogs.

Rita Schaefer of the Sigrid Arnhold Foundation spends time with GDB National Major Gift Officer Janet Benjamin and a guide dog puppy.

CEO Chris Benninger shares a moment with guide dog puppy in training Harriet.

GDB instructor Mallary Paoli stands with GDB client Russell Aley and his new guide dog Hera. To their right is the Apland family, Hera’s puppy raisers.

GDB Client George Basioli and his guide dog Dustin stand between longtime supporters Sharon and Marc Alport.

Friend and supporter Nora Harrison poses with two adorable guide dog puppies in training.

From Guide Dogs for the Blind:

Since 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) has been creating partnerships between people, dogs, and communities. With exceptional client services and a robust network of instructors, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, we prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision from throughout the United States and Canada.

All of the services for our clients are provided free of charge, including personalized training and extensive post-graduation support, plus financial assistance for veterinary care, if needed. Our work is made possible by the generous support of our donors and volunteers; we receive no government funding.