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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Guide Dogs of America will not be holding its annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet, previously scheduled for November 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, because of health concerns for attendees.

“We feel the most important thing right now is to focus our attention on helping people with the new challenges we face,” said GDA President Russell Gittlen. “Guide Dogs of America is committed to supporting our clients, staff, dogs and volunteers as we strive towards our purpose – transforming lives through partnerships with services dogs.”

Those who would like to support GDA during these difficult times can donate directly on their website.

“Although we are no doubt disappointed to not be gathering this year in support of Guide Dogs, we understand it is in the best interest for all involved to cancel the events,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We look forward to honoring the ‘Gift of Sight’ award recipients next year in an environment that is safe for everyone.”

Guide Dogs of America, the IAM’s favorite charity, provides blind and visually-impaired men and women with increased independence, confidence and mobility through an expertly-trained guide dog. Their services are provided free of charge to residents in the U.S. and Canada. 

A recent merger with Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs allows them to expand their reach to wounded veterans, individuals with autism and to facilities whose populations can benefit from their presence. The school was founded in 1948 after a blind IAM member was rejected for a guide dog due to his age of 57.

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