Newcomers Club Helps Local Child With Funds For Seizure Sensing Therapeutic Dog

Newcomers Club, Publicity and Charity Chair  Renaulda Dangremond, joined by 6-year-old Andrew Smith and his mom Michelle after receiving a generous donation of $1,600 from the members of the Club.

Brandon-based senior ladies social group called the Newcomers Club, which boasts of two of its oldest, but quite active members who have recently celebrated their 95th birthday, has once again took the lead in showing what it means to be part of the community and supporting those in need.

During a recent meeting, members of the Club voted to present $1,600 to 6-year old Valrico resident,  Andrew Smith, in order to help he and his mom Michelle with expenses as they travel to Ohio to get a K-9 helper, or most accurately a Seizure Alert Dog from 4 Paws for Ability.

“Usually we divide up the funds that we raise through the various programs and events we hold during the year, between charities,” said Club president and charity committee vice chair Re Dangremond. “We want to do all that we can for everyone in our community, but felt that it was reasonable to give the entire amount we raised during our Make It, Bake It, Sow It, Grow It, auction we held last November to Andrew.”

Last year the club donated $600 to help launch the Smith’s fundraising campaign, which needed close to $13,000. 

“We want Andrew to start to feel some independence, and having a K-9 companion will hopefully help that,” she said.

“The dog would help notify us when Andrew has a seizure, help protect him when having a seizure, calm him during medical procedures, and help break the ice with other children.”

On Wednesday, May 16, Andrew received the money, while his mom began making the necessary travel arrangements for their upcoming trip, scheduled for later this year.

As she talked about what is ahead for her and her son, Michelle emphasized that there is no cure for Andrew’s epilepsy and that he will probably have seizures all his life.

For now, however, the support of all those that have been there for Andrew throughout the campaign, including the Newcomers Club and those who continue to support the family’s goal, Michelle is forever grateful.

For more information those wish to help can also visit www.cropoutdisabilities.weebly.com, or www.4pawsforability.org.