On a terrible day in July last summer, John Liquori Jr. was jogging close to his home when he was tragically killed due to the senseless act of a drunk driver. John was a handsome, vibrant and visionary young man who leaves a lasting legacy despite his short time on earth; his parents, Lisa and John Liquori Sr., and his younger brother, Joey, wanted to honor John's love and care for children and dogs by helping to create a North Star partnership between a young boy with autism named JuanPablo who lives in McAllen, Texas, and his North Star dog, Aquiles.
John's many friends and members of his community came out to support his memorial scholarship fund recently in an event that saw an outpouring of love and grief for a young man who is very deeply missed. All of us at North Star hope to honor his memory by supporting our work with children who face challenges and the assistance dogs that improve their lives. This is a lasting legacy that will help make this world a better place for children
North Star shares John's belief in the value of helping others in personal and unique ways, and we want to honor him by virtue of what he loved most in life: children, dogs, friends and, most of all, family.
The John Liquori Memorial Scholarship fund recently awarded $15,000 to North Star Foundation; half of these funds went to support a placement in progress with a young boy with autism named JuanPablo, who lives in McAllen, Texas.
The other half of John's funds will create a scholarship for a child who grieves a loss. This upcoming North Star placement will be created in the summer of 2016, with a pup from North Star Lily's first litter. In the emerging field of assistance dogs for children who suffer a losss, great care need be taken for a child to heal from a loss, and establishing this scholarship fund is an important step in being able to help a child through a very difficult time.
You can learn more about John and his life and ongoing legacy at: http://doitforjohn.com/about
Here is a link to take you to JP's classroom during a project JP presented about his coming North Star pup, Aquiles...
The Dooley Family Foundation has donated $21,000 to support a North Star placement in Rhode Island as well as support our upcoming placements from North Star Nahly's litter due 7/20/15. The placement supported is for a child with autism named Mason, who is partnered with a North Star pup named Maverix, a Samoyed.
Here is a link to a clip that shows Maverix on the day he arrived to work with his boy, Mason...
Focus for Health has generously donated $5,000 to North Star Foundation to support an upcoming North Star placement in progress with a child we are serving. North Star is grateful to receive this funding, and we support Focus for Health's admirable championing of the causes of advocacy, education and research to combat the rise of chronic illness. Click on the logo below for their official site!
Sponsoring a North Star partnership with a child who faces a challenge can be a rewarding thing to do, as well as one that has power to help the child in a positive as well as evidenced based way. Donations can be made in the name a child on our waiting list, and a memorial scholarships can be made in honor of a loved one.
SERVICE DOG PLACEMENTS FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
North Star is known for setting the gold standard for creating assistance dog partnerships with children, and we are leaders in bringing new research and ideas to this emerging field. We are also helping to spread awareness of animal assisted therapy for children who face social and emotional challenges, and how to successfully integrate a carefully bred and trained dog into what otherwise might be a difficult environment for the children we serve.
Creating a service dog placement for a child with autism differs from creating placements between service dogs and physically challenged adults. From puppy hood on, the philosophy of training the dog and the timetable for placement has to be tailored to the unique needs of the child and move in tandem with the dog's natural development. We put considerable energy, time and talent into teaching the child to interact with the dog in ways that enhance bonding.
An assistance dog can also help children who face other social or emotional challenges than a developmental difference; a child who suffers trauma or grief from a loss can also benefit from a North Star placement with a well socialized and carefully partnered pup. Therapeutic benefits can happen quite naturally, but the North Star dog can be more formally introduced to a child's existing therapeutic program as a much loved tool to help create support for the child we hope to serve.
A North Star dog can also act as a bridge between the activities of a therapy session and a child's home program, providing familiar cues and structure to pragmatic language or increasing a child's security. This can help to generalize language learned in a speech therapy session, and to translate it into conversation spoken in the larger world beyond the walls of the therapy room, or just help to keep a child emotionally grounded.
Children with autism often have great difficulty in generalizing learned speech to new situations and people due to their overly selective attention and tendency to respond to only a limited number of cues. Using an assistance dog as a aid for teaching pragmatic language at home as well as in the community can be as simple as rehearsing stock responses to the fairly predictable questions people are likely to ask when they see a well-trained dog wearing a saddle with a patch that reads "Please Ask to Pet Me."
The silver lining to this work is watching the emotional value parents derive from their child's relationship with a North Star dog. Engaging a child to take an active and nurturing role in raising his or her puppy is an ideal way to help a child socially, emotionally or educationally.
Your kind and generous support is not only greatly needed, it is deeply appreciated...
We also thank the wonderful online marketing organization ChameleonJohn.com for their recent pledge of support to our efforts as well...click on the logo below for their official site!
Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact me at (860) 423-0664, to ask any lingering questions about our work and how you can help us to sponsor a North Star placement for a vulnerable child, in a way that is safe as well as effective (the fun just comes with the package!)
Please help support the North Star Foundation and donate now! To do so, please scroll up to the top of the page towards the right-hand column, and we thank you in advance for your support!
All donations made to North Star Foundation are greatly needed and appreciated, as we ask our families served to raise just half of true cost of their placement. Donations are also considered tax deductible, as we are a 501 (c) 3, nonprofit organization (EIN # 06-1589586).