‘Ride a bull, help a veteran’ fundraiser raises nearly $2k to support veterans with PTSD

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Multiple organizations partnered together to raise thousands of dollars to purchase and train service dogs for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on Sunday.

The first-ever “Ride a Bull, Help a Veteran” fundraiser was hosted by the Veteran’s Warehouse Thrift Store for the Service Peace Warriors (SPW), an organization dedicated to raising and training service dogs for honorably discharged vets with PTSD.

According to SPW, “the dogs are trained to sense anxiety, worry, fear, anger, joy, excitement, love, and other emotions.”

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SPW volunteer Ashlee Gage said the dogs help the veterans “better their lives.”

“[We] make sure they can do their daily lives. Because they may need the extra help, the extra push, to be able to get out,” Gage said.

Karen Monroe, the board president of Operation Veteran’s Assistance and Humanitarian Aid (OVAHA), which runs the thrift store, said the event was “exciting.”

“We will continue to raise money as long as people are willing to donate,” Monroe said.

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One of the biggest attractions at the fundraiser was the mechanical bull-riding competition. Eventgoers paid to enter and tried out practice rounds before seeing who could stay on the longest.

SPW said the cost to train a single service dog is about $32,000. Event organizers said they raised nearly $2,000.

If you want to donate to SPW, you can visit the thrift store at 908 N Colorado St. in Kennewick or by clicking here.

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