In Part 3 of our Volunteer Recognition series, we shine a spotlight on some of the behind-the-scenes volunteers who make NEADS possible, including photographers, clients, and community groups. These selfless volunteers provide crucial support in numerous ways, from fundraising to grounds maintenance to providing meals and handmade quilts to NEADS' veteran clients.
NEADS hosts special events throughout the year, including graduation, Get Dressed. Give Back. and the Pulling 4 Paws Truck Pull. For the past two years, we’ve been fortunate to have Keith McGilvery, Fox61 news anchor, has shared his exceptional on-air charisma and remarkable talents as host for Get Dressed. Give Back. Volunteers like Nicole Ferreira, who is also a member of the NEADS Executive Cabinet, and Pat Sumner, have been invaluable by helping with sponsorships, ticket sales, and silent auction items.
Pat describes her involvement with NEADS: "After attending my first graduation ceremony, I was deeply inspired by the incredible impact NEADS has on the lives of its clients. It was then that I knew I wanted to dedicate my time in retirement to this organization. I am honored to support NEADS' fundraising events, which not only provide crucial financial support but also raise awareness about their important work.
Last year, I had the privilege of sponsoring a table at NEADS' annual Give Back event, where I introduced ten of my friends to this wonderful organization. It was a pleasure to see their interest in NEADS' programs and to witness their participation in furthering the cause. I am proud to be affiliated with NEADS and grateful for the opportunity to support them."
Volunteer photographers play an essential role in capturing and documenting these events. Among the talented professionals who generously offer their expertise is Rich Prager, who has been photographing our graduations and other events for 12 years. He has taken portraits of many of our new Service and Assistance Dog teams, and even assisted in a photo shoot for a Ruffwear catalog. We have also worked with Stony Brook Camera Club, whose members have photographed graduations, Get Dressed. Give Back., and other events since 2021.