Closed (partial funding): Help Sammie the service dog make a “Pawsitive Influence” at North Woods

Summary: Help raise money for a school service dog to provide a calming effect for special education and regular classroom students at North Woods International School.

Goal: $5,500   •   Amount raised: $473 (this does not include donations received through a separate La Crosse SOUP fundraising event)  •   School: North Woods International School   •   Sponsor Name: Heather Stern


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Click on the image above to see a WXOW-TV story: Sammie the service dog to work at North Woods Elementary

About My Project: This fundraising project will support a school service dog at North Woods. Sammie’s primary focus is the special education program, but she is available for all students in the building. She has already started here at North Woods. She provides a calming effect by her presence in the classroom, and provides comfort without judgment to people, regardless of their backgrounds or abilities. In early interactions, Sammie proved to be able to encourage students in ways that adults could not. Students were motivated to earn “Sammie time” — whether it was to walk down the hallway, or provide 5 minutes of snuggling or sit with a student in the tree house while the student read to Sammie.

Where Your Donation Goes: The fundraising goal is to generate additional funds towards the cost of $15,000 for her training at Retrieving Freedom, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Waverly, Iowa, dedicated to training service dogs to help people.  They worked with Sammie in the spring of 2017 to train her to prepare her for the school setting.

The La Crosse Public Education Foundation provided a $5,000 grant last spring toward the training, and $1,500 has been raised from other school sources and a personal donation, but substantial funds remain to be raised to help Sammie complete her training.

All donations to LPEF are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged via letter. LPEF adds a small surcharge to offset credit card processing fees and related expenses. For more details, go to our About Support-a-School page.

  • If fundraising falls short of the goal, money will be used to fulfill as much of the project as feasible.
  • If fundraising exceeds the goal, the project will be expanded or money will go to a similar purpose at the same school.