Supporters of Gabriel’s Angels gathered for breakfast to kick-off their 2022 fundraising and awareness efforts at the Arizona Biltmore on April 29 with major sponsors AZ Pet Vet, Enterprise Bank and Trust, and The Leona Group. Gabriel’s Angels Board Chairman Patty Nelson welcomed almost 300 guests and 20 Pet Therapy teams while recognizing special guests Arizona State Senator Sean Bowie and Miss Glendale Mattie Krause.
Describing the wonderful work of the Pet Therapy teams at Gabriel’s Angels, which is made possible by donor support, Ms. Nelson said, “We currently have 120 of these wonderful Pet Therapy teams, visiting 120 agencies and serve almost 6,000 at-risk children each year, thanks to you and all who support Gabriel’s Angels.”
Melissa Steimer, CEO of Gabriel’s Angels recognized the Angel Society donors who have committed a gift of $1,000 or more for five years and related this donation to the actual services the organization provides, “It costs $1,000 to serve 20 at-risk kids each year with the right curriculum and training. We have more kids in need and every $1,000 equals 20 more at-risk kids who are receiving the special help they so need.” She also expressed the need for additional volunteer Pet Therapy teams to join the effort to reach more children.
Guests were introduced to the partnerships of Gabriel’s Angels with Desert Sun Academy and Homeward Bound with a heart-warming video. Cheyanne Leeds, joined by her therapy dog Tiana, spoke about her experience volunteering as a Pet Therapy team with Gabriel’s Angels at Desert Sun Academy while Erin McGuire of Devereaux Behavioral Health shared her knowledge from her perspective as a clinical therapist on the impact Pet Therapy has on not only the kids, but the staff working with them.
With a goal of $120,000, the event exceeded that with just over $144,000 raised to benefit at-risk children through amazing pet therapy.