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Art Unleashed: A Contest for Kids

Now that school is out, parents across Los Angeles County are looking for fun and productive activities for their children. Canine Companions for Independence is offering a great solution! Canine Companions, the nonprofit organization that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities completely free of charge, is inviting children to participate in an art contest.

Art Unleashed: A Contest for Kids is in celebration of Canine Companions’ new Los Angeles field office at 2312 Westwood Boulevard. The facility was made possible by a generous grant from the Shirley McKernan Courage Foundation. The office will make it easier for local residents with disabilities to learn about Canine Companions’ life-changing program, and it will enable Canine Companions to better serve existing clientele in the community.

Art Unleashed: A Contest for Kids is open to children up to age 14 who reside in Los Angeles County. Aspiring young artists are invited to create an original piece that features a Canine Companions assistance dog or puppy in program. Art should convey Canine Companions’ mission of enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs. Entries must be submitted by October 1, 2010 to Canine Companions’ Los Angeles field office. The grand prize winner will have the opportunity to name a Canine Companions puppy and he or she will receive a gift basket full of Canine Companions gear like apparel, plush toys, books and more.

Participants are encouraged to submit their artwork early, because entries will be displayed online for the public to vote on to determine the winner. The earlier an artwork is posted, the more chances it will have to win! A gallery will also be created at the Canine Companions Los Angeles field office for the public to view in person. One finalist will be chosen in each of the three age groups: 0-6, 7-10 and 11-14. The grand prize winner will be chosen out of the three finalists. The winner will be announced on November 13, 2010 at the Canine Companions Graduation Ceremony. Full contest guidelines can be found at www.cci.org/artunleashed.

Canine Companions assistance dogs are trained in up to 50 commands designed to make everyday life easier for adults and children with physical and developmental disabilities. They open and close doors, retrieve dropped objects, and turn lights on and off. Outside of physical tasks, Canine Companions assistance dogs provide immeasurable emotional support. At Graduation, people with disabilities formally receive their new assistance dogs. Graduations occur four times per year, after human/canine teams complete an intensive two-week, residential Team Training course at the Canine Companions Southwest Regional Center in Oceanside.

About Canine Companions for Independence:
Canine Companions for Independence provides highly-trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has five regional training centers across the country. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, training and ongoing follow-up services. For more information, visit www.cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.

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