(Contest Nominee) BOW WOW BUDDIES FOUNDATION Funds Animal Cancer Research, Therapy Dogs, and Homeless Pet Adoptions

BOW WOW BUDDIES FOUNDATION is one of seven local charities nominated in Citywide Banks’ Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place June 1-14, 2013. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. The charity receiving the most contest votes will receive a $5,000 donation, while the other nominees will split $2,500 in donations based on the voting results.

Everything Heidi Ganahl, CEO and founder (a.k.a. Top Dog) of Camp Bow Wow, has done professionally is for the love of animals. She founded Camp Bow Wow, a day camp and boarding facility for dogs, in 2000 that now has over 150 locations nationwide. Then, in 2007, she created Bow Wow Buddies Foundation as a multi-faceted nonprofit to raise funds for animal cancer, therapy dogs and to facilitate adoptions for homeless pets.

The Colorado-based foundation was created because, Ganahl and all the Camp Bow Wow locations were always raising funds for local shelter and rescue organizations – just because she, and her employees, thought it was the right thing to do. However, she saw an opportunity to aggregate all of the company’s charitable efforts, and make them more effective. The foundation’s three main focus areas are Home, Health and Humane.

Their Home focus, for example, includes their highly successful Foster Pet Program that has found forever homes for over 10,000 homeless dogs. Each of the Camp Bow Wow locations foster local rescue dogs until a permanent home is found for them, which usually takes one to two months. But this program does more than care for these dogs; it actually helps make them more adoptable. For one, it puts them in front of a very specialized audience (dog owners/lovers) daily so that their chances of adoption are greater. Secondly, because these dogs are so well taken care of and socialized, meaning they learn to play nice with people and other dogs, it makes them better pets.

On the Health front, Bow Wow Buddies Foundation has a partnership with Colorado State University and their Animal Cancer Center. The foundation has given the University an endowment for sponsoring a full-time research scientist that specializes in canine cancer research. The work this center does has made a national impact, collaboratively working with other Animal Cancer Centers in the country as well as with The Children’s Hospital Network.

The foundation’s On Our Way Home Project is all about making sure all dogs are treated humanely, especially those in shelters. It helps shelters integrate play yards into their properties. “The dogs are usually stuck in those little cages for weeks at a time,” explained Ganahl. Funds from Bow Wow Buddies Foundation go toward materials and training to help build out these play areas, like those in Camp Bow Wow facilities, so that the dogs “can actually play during the day.”

“It helps keep the dogs stress levels down and helps socialize them so they’re more adoptable.”

And last, but not least, their Scout’s Angels program, raises funds to send therapy dogs to help in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy. Bow Wow Buddies Foundation is teaming with Freedom Service Dogs and the University of Denver’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection to temporarily provide therapy dogs and therapists to help survivors and their families heal from the tragic event. The foundation is also working to train two to four therapy pups that will permanently reside in the Newtown community.

The foundation raises funds through creative and fun events such as the Fido Formal, Spay-ghetti and No Balls, Woofstock held at their CBW locations, or by private donations. “The money goes directly to the research scientist’s salary or the shelters’ play yards,” says Ganahl. “We have very little overhead. We’re really about changing the way animals are seen in the country and in the world.”

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would go toward training a therapy dog that would stay in Colorado in the event of a disaster or emergency. “He could be a comfort to the community, and if there’s no disaster, the dog could go to schools or nursing homes,” explained Ganahl.

For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.BowWowBuddies.com.

Vote to Give Bow Wow Buddies Foundation a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a Colorado owned bank focused entirely on the Front Range, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with Bow Wow Buddies Foundation. Through our Charity Hand-Up Contest, we are proud to spotlight the great work and ongoing needs of Denver/Boulder nonprofits. Based on the results of a 14-day vote, the local community will determine how $7,500 is split among seven Colorado charities nominated by Citywide Banks employees. The charity receiving the most votes will receive $5,000 and the runner-up will receive $1,000. The remaining donation amounts will correspond to the voting results for each nominated charity. The voting public can also enter to win great prizes, including dinner for two at some of Denver’s top restaurants. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. Full contest details are at www.CitywideBanks.com/charity/.

How to Cast Your Vote – June 1 -14, 2013
The contest is open to the general public within the Denver/Boulder community (non-customers welcome to participate; no purchase necessary). The easiest way to vote is online by clicking the “Charity Contest” tab on the Citywide Banks Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to “like” the bank’s Facebook page to cast a vote/entry online. Supporters may alternatively participate by casting a vote/entry in-person at one of Citywide Banks 12 Denver/Boulder branches. Just stop by any branch during regular business hours and complete an official contest ballot. As a reminder, supporters cannot vote through both online and branch methods. One vote/entry is permitted during the 14-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users may use sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity.

Spread the Word about Voting for Bow Wow Buddies Foundation
Tell your coworkers, friends, and family in Colorado to cast their vote for your favorite nonprofit. Use the sharing buttons above this article, on the Facebook voting page, or throughout Citywide Banks’ social media pages to help spread the word.

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