News Release
 May 7, 2003
CONTACT: Kandy Weason - The Wilson Group
(972) 444-8443 ext. 227

Utica, NY (May 7, 2003) -- Cassandra Eckhardt has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which has forced her to use crutches for mobility. Her condition makes everyday activities such as picking up dropped objects, opening and closing doors and getting help in case of an emergency very difficult.

In an effort to help Cassandra with daily tasks, Milk-Bone has teamed up with Tops Friendly Markets to sponsor a Canine Assistants service dog for this Boonville resident. Cassandra will be introduced to a Canine Assistants representative service dog on Wednesday, May 7th, 1:00 pm at the Tops at 1122 Mohawk Street in Utica (315-235-0200).

Sue Harrison, a certified volunteer from the Canine Assistants organization, will be present to make the introduction and to explain the benefits these highly trained services dogs can provide to people with disabilities. This dog will be an example of the dog Cassandra will receive. Her actual service dog will be selected and trained to meet her specific needs and will be given to Cassandra at the Canine Assistants training camp she will attend later this year.

Canine Assistants, a non-profit organization founded in 1991, trains dogs to assist children and adults with physical disabilities and / or other special needs. Canine Assistants dogs are either rescued young adult dogs or are puppies raised at their facilities.

Milk-Bone’s partnership with Tops is part of a nation-wide effort by Milk-Bone to sponsor Canine Assistants service dogs for people in need. This year Milk-Bone is sponsoring 40 dogs for recipients across the country and Tops is generously participating in this program. This event marks the 4th service dog donated by Milk-Bone and Tops over the past 4 years. Milk-Bone purchases at Tops will help Milk-Bone support the Canine Assistants sponsorship. The sponsorship includes purchasing the dog, extensive training for the dog and recipient, as well as lifelong veterinary services totaling more than $10,000.

In more than 145 countries, Kraft Foods markets the world's favorite food and beverage brands, including Kraft cheese, Jacobs and Maxwell House coffees, Nabisco cookies and crackers, Philadelphia cream cheese, Oscar Mayer meats, Post cereals and Milka Chocolates.

The public and media are invited to attend the sponsorship event, meet Cassandra and her family and learn more about Canine Assistants. Please contact Kandy Weason from The Wilson Group for additional information.


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