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10K Run/Walk/Cycle for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland – Gortroe Inn, Sun 16th October 2011

News release courtesy of Smack PR

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME FOR MALLOW CHARITY AT FUN RUN IN BANTEER!

They say charity begins at home and Ireland’s newest autism charity, Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) is a testament to that old adage. The charity is delighted to be the beneficiaries of the Banteer 10K Fun Run/Walk on Sunday October 16th.

The charity and also Banteer Macra who are organising the event are calling on walkers, runners and cyclists who are over 16 to take part. The event will start and end at the Gortroe Inn, Lombardstown, with registration between 11am and 12 noon when the race will get underway. The good spirits will be kept going with entertainment and food afterwards.

AADI has been in existence since April 2010 and places trained assistance dogs and companion dogs with children and their families who are dealing with autism nationwide.  The dogs can provide independence and safety for the children, allowing them to go out in public, act as an unconditional source of love and affection for the child and help them to improve interaction and socialisation skills.

Director of fundraising Breeda Clancy says any additional funding will be a massive boost. “We really appreciate the support of Banteer Macra in the organisation of the event. We depend hugely on all fundraising undertaken by those who partake in events such as the Banteer Fun Run/Walk on behalf of AADI, flag days, our online store, calendar sales and other activities but the cost of training a dog to such specific standards is enormous”.

Nuala Geraghty, AADI’s training service manager agrees. “AADI is only up and running for just over a year and we are doing our best to train and provide as many dogs as we can but to train dogs to the proper standard is a lengthy process and demand is very high. AADI has so far made a huge difference to the lives of many autistic children. “We train dogs, mainly Labradors or Golden retrievers, as assistance dogs to help autistic children break down the barriers preventing them from interacting with society”, says Nuala. “There is really nothing like seeing the calming effect the dog can have on a child’s behaviour”.

The Banteer event is being organised by the local Macra na Feirme group, and any walkers, runners and cyclists who want to take part can contact banteermacra@gmail.com or 087 927 4699 for sponsorship packs and further information or you can join AADI on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @autismdogsirl

Two of AADI’s trained assistance dogs Pearl and Trixie.