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Blind and visually impaired children learn about judo…


Blind Judo Foundation Gives Free Demonstration to Visually Impaired Children and Their Families

NEW YORK, Nov 12, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX

Blind and visually impaired children from the New York City area will learn about the history and techniques of the ancient sport of Judo from Paralympic Silver Medalist, Andre Watson, and the 2008 Paralympic Judo Team Leader, Marc Vink, on Saturday, November 15, 2008, at Modern Martial Arts in Manhattan. This event is sponsored by FamilyConnect(TM) — the national multimedia web resource for parents of children with visual impairments located at www.familyconnect.org and developed by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) — and the Blind Judo Foundation — a non-profit which serves to promote Judo to the blind and visually impaired community.

Saturday’s event will focus on the Olympic sport of Judo–a system of self-defense, and physical and mental discipline that aims to develop self-confidence, character, and independence in life. Attendees will be given a description of the history of Judo and an opportunity to participate in a hands-on Judo demonstration. They will learn the basics of body awareness and how to properly and securely fall; understand the importance of balance and its role in the sport; and discover how the physical capacities of Judo permit better adaptation to every day life. In addition, the children and their families will see the important roles exercise, mental focus, and sportsmanship play in empowering children who are blind or visually impaired to reach their full potential.

To reserve your spot, contact Jeanette Christie at (718) 519-7000, ext. 127, or Jaynycnapvi@aol.com.
WHEN: Saturday, November 15, 2008, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
WHERE: Modern Martial Arts, 780 8th Avenue (between 47th & 48th Sts), New York, NY
Learn More…

It should be noted that Dr. Andre Watson trains with us on occasion at Pottstown Judo, and has been a goof friend for many years. Andre has a master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from Widener University. 🙂

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2008 ASPCA Dog of the Year!


Some great news from our friend Cole Massie.

Cole’s Skilled Companion Dog, Ilia, has been awarded the 2008 ASPCA Dog of The Year! Heres the official press release from ASPCA ~

Meet the 2008 ASPCA Dog of the Year

ASPCA Dog of the Year: Ilia, a 5-year-old black lab/golden retriever mix. Ilia lives with Cole Massie, a 10-year-old boy who has cerebral palsy. As Cole’s service dog, Ilia accompanies Cole everywhere — even traveling more than 7,000 miles on six airplanes to be by Cole’s side during surgery.

Ten-year-old Cole Massie of Los Angeles, CA, may live with cerebral palsy, but he has all the support a kid could want, thanks to a very special black Lab/golden retriever mix named Ilia.

Recently crowned ASPCA Dog of the Year as part of the 2008 Humane Awardsprogram, Ilia performs service duties like bringing items to Cole in his wheelchair and opening and closing doors. But the pooch also has that special healing touch that can’t be taught. “He provides amazing incentive to Cole during therapies, doctor’s appointments and procedures,” says Cole’s mom, Michelle Massie. “He calms, inspires and motivates my son far better than anyone ever has.”

Or, as Cole sums it up: “I like when he lies next to me in bed at night and we listen to Harry Potter on CD, and that he helps to clean me when I’m in the bath by licking my face and arms. He’s my furry brother and best friend—and a serious bed hog!”

This past July, three years after boy and dog were paired by the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence, Cole was faced with a difficult, but life-changing surgery. “He had walked on his toes, and his feet were totally rolled in,” says Massie. “The operation would allow him to use his feet and free him of the wheelchair.”

“Cole was frightened by the idea of surgery at first,” remembers Massie. “We explained how much more independent he’d be afterward, but he wasn’t buying it. Finally, we told him that if he had this procedure, there was a very good chance he’d be able to walk Ilia on his own—with no parents and no walker.” After that, says Massie, “Cole would stroke the dog’s head in bed each night and whisper, ‘I will walk you, Ilia. I will walk you.'”

After much coaxing, Cole underwent the surgery in Summit, NJ, and Ilia traveled more than 7,000 miles to be by the boy’s side. The ten-year-old is now on his way to becoming an independent walker—and his dedicated service dog will be with him every step.

The entire family will attend the ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon in New York City this October 30, where Ilia will be honored along with seven other extraordinary animals and people.

P.S. We’d like to remind you, pet lovers, that even heroes have their quirks. As Massie reveals, “Ilia knows 46 commands, but he won’t fetch!”

These animals and six other winners will receive their awards at the ASPCA Humane Awards luncheon at New York City’s Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center on Oct. 30.

Congratulations guys…

I proudly support Canine Companions for Independence so kids like Cole can get teamed up with great dogs like Ilia! Please make a donation to CCI!

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