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A Lifelong Love of Dogs; A Lifetime Gift to GDA

Thea SmithThea Smith's interest in guide dogs started in Melbourne, Australia, which has a very large program. She would often see guide dog teams working together and marveled at their partnership so, when she received a holiday card from Guide Dogs of America, it caught her eye and her interest.

The lifelong dog lover and her husband began making donations to the school 30 years ago. When her husband passed away, Mrs. Smith formalized her commitment to GDA and became a Partner in Trust, ensuring that her already decades-long support of the school would continue well into the future.

Mrs. Smith treasures her eyesight and wanted to help someone enhance their life. She has generously designated a gift to GDA in her will that will improve the lives of future GDA grads.

"Back home in Australia, I had seen, first-hand, the difference that a guide dog makes in the life of a blind person. I witnessed the trust and confidence a person has to put in their dog," said Mrs. Smith. "It is remarkable. To be able to support the school and make a difference in the life of a blind person... the whole thing touches my heart."

Her attraction to and interest in guide dogs was the initial connection Mrs. Smith felt when she received that first holiday card. However, it was learning about Guide Dogs of America and its program that convinced her that the school would receive her continued support.

"I like what the school is doing. It is a wonderful program," said Mrs. Smith. "You're just my favorite. That's just it. I keep everything that GDA has sent me on the mantle. It reminds me every day of the work the school does."

For information about becoming a Partner in Trust, please contact Rhonda Bissell at 818-833-6432.

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