The first Strolling for Service Dogs, which The Times previewed last month, raised over $18,000 for the nonprofit Alpha Bravo Canine, which trains and donates service puppies to military veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.
Leading the charge for the fundraiser was Pennsbury student Nicky Christopher, 14, who is widely known in the community as the Birthday Lawn Bandit. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he began “raiding” neighbors’ lawns by decorating them for birthdays, graduations and other special occasions.
A portion of proceeds from the raids benefited Alpha Bravo Canine, but Nicky wanted to do more. A fundraiser was held in 2021 in the Lower Makefield pool parking lot in Yardley, but this year’s event – held at the Garden of Reflection 9/11 Memorial, was the largest to date.
“It was a wonderful, safe event and the community loved it,” said Nicky’s mom Sara Christopher. “Alpha Bravo Canine is adding more training pups into the program, which means we will continue to find ways to support them and our Lower Makefield Township veterans.”
The event for 2023 is already confirmed for April 15. More details will be announced in the coming months. To date, over $25,000 has been raised for Alpha Bravo Canine thanks to these fundraisers.
“If there is a positive from experiencing this awful COVID pandemic, it’s that a 14-year-old autistic teenager and a few of his friends have proven with love, dedication and generous support from our community, plus a little imagination, anything is possible,” said Sara.