11 May 11

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

On Saturday, May 7th, hundreds of people and their four legged friends gathered at Four Towns Firefighters Training Center in Merrick to support the Merrick Lions Club 2nd Annual Purple Hearts Pups  “Just for Fun” Dog Show event.  On the gorgeous spring day, families and dog lovers united for this one great cause all while having a lot of dog gone fun.

Purple Hearts Pup became a reality through the Merrick Lions Club.  As a new club starting out two years ago they were looking for a cause to support and get behind to be an integral part of the community and keep members involved.  Lisa Siano who is the chair of the event, felt that something needed to be done for the Veterans because her twin sister, Toni Pincus, is a puppy raiser with the Guide Foundation in Smithtown. Toni’s first puppy, Raleigh, was giving to Walter Reade Army hospital to work in the Physical Therapy department with the amputee’s coming home from the war.  The merging of the two gave birth to the idea of a fundraising event called “Purple Heart Pups.” The Merrick Lions quickly became a 501(c) (3) organization, and their effort to raise money for disabled veterans continues through various activities in addition to Saturday’s event.  “I got involved with the Club simply because two people who I knew asked me. When I first heard about the PHP, I knew despite anyone’s politics on the war, we have to support those who protect us,” said Audrey Shapiro a Merrick Lions Club member and volunteer for the event.

Purple Heart Pups was created to seek to aid disabled and amputee veterans by providing financial support to America’s VetDogs and the National Amputee Foundation.

Check out all the pictures from the days event below taken by Ben Whalen and Nancy Hassel.

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