Hearts & Heroes 2019 | Canine Companions

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Event Info16th Annual Hearts & Heroes

Thank you for making our 2019 Hearts & Heroes gala one of the best ever! We exceeded our goals of raising $250,000!

"One of the best charity events I've been to in New York,” says Fox News Channel 'Daily Briefing' anchor Dana Perino, honorary chair of the event.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Canine Companions will continue to be able to offer our expertly-trained assistance dog free of charge to children, adults and veterans with disabilities. We thank PenFed CEO and president, James Schenck, who accepted the 16th annual Hearts & Heroes award. PenFed is the nation's second largest federal credit union, and thanks to James' leadership, the company is partnering with Canine Companions to raise three puppies, and a fourth is on the way this summer! We are also grateful to honorary event chair Dana Perino, Tyrus and Jennifer Williams (and Spike) of 'The Daily Briefing', master of ceremonies Andrea McCarren, and the entire Fox and PenFed teams who attended our gala. Everyone agrees, The Apella provided an amazing backdrop for our event this year with stunning views of the East River and Midtown Manhattan. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in 2020.

Stay tuned for details of our annual Veterans Day event November 7 at The Inn in New Hyde Park.

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Date

June 13 2019

Location

Apella
450 E. 29th Street
New York, New York

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TIME

6-10 p.m.

Featuring

Emcee Andrea McCarren at a podium on stage
Emcee Andrea McCarren
Auctioneer Fred Granados on stage with mic
Auctioneer Fred Granados
‘The Dogist’ Elias Weissman, Erin Landers
‘The Dogist’ Elias Weissman, Erin Landers
John Libonati, Debra Dougherty, Sam Patricola, Brad Honkus, Kassandra Meholick, Lisa Jennings, Carolyn Woycik, Col. E. David Woycik, Jr., Paul Monfre, Jeanne Monfre, Andrea McCarren
John Libonati, Debra Dougherty, Sam Patricola, Brad Honkus, Kassandra Meholick, Lisa Jennings, Carolyn Woycik, Col. E. David Woycik, Jr., Paul Monfre, Jeanne Monfre, Andrea McCarren
Ken Hernandez and Canine Companions Service Dog Miller VII
Ken Hernandez and Miller VII
Jennifer Williams and Canine Companions puppy Spike VI
Jennifer Williams and Spike VI
PenFed President and CEO James Schenck on stage
PenFed President and CEO James Schenck
Fox News Channel’s Tyrus waving
Fox News Channel’s Tyrus
James Schenck, Dana Perino, Debra Dougherty with Canine Companions puppy Maverick
James Schenck, Dana Perino, Debra Dougherty, Maverick
Tyrus and holding Canine Companions puppy Maverick IV
Tyrus and Maverick IV

StoriesSpecial Guests

The Northeast Region of Canine Companions for Independence has been making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities since 1989. You can help someone in your community just like one of these Canine Companions assistance dogs and dogs in training.

Dana Perino headshot wearing a blur top

Dana Perino
Hearts & Heroes
Honorary Chair

Fox News Anchor Dana Perino is the former White House press secretary to President George W. Bush. Today she's the host of The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino seen weekdays at 2 p.m.

man in wheelchair with Canine Companions service dog watching hockey game

Andrea McCarren
Master of Ceremonies

After a long career in television journalism, Emmy award winning reporter and Canine Companions puppy raiser Andrea McCarren recently accepted the position of Chief Content Officer for PenFed Digital.

James' headshot

James R. Schenck
President & CEO of PenFed Credit Union

James Schenk is President and CEO of PenFed Credit Union, the nation's second-largest federal credit union, and the PenFed Foundation, which has raised over $35 million to help military veterans and their families.

woman in wheelchair with Canine Companions service dog

USAF Veteran
Ken Hernandez &
Service Dog Miller

Air Force Veteran and retired Port Authority Police Officer Ken Hernandez has served his country, and his local community. Now with assistance dog Miller by his side, Ken can continue his active lifestyle!

woman in wheelchair with Canine Companions service dog

Fred Granados
Hearts & Heroes
Auctioneer

We are thrilled to welcome gala auctioneer and friend of Canine Companions Fred Granados to light up the room with his infectious energy and enthusiastic call to action at this year’s gala!

Elias with a puppy hiding in his jacket

Elias Friedman
The Dogist

Elias is the founder and president of The Dogist as well as a strong supporter of Canine Companions.

Our MissionCanine Companions for Independence

Man with prosthetic leg bending over to be nose to nose with yellow dog wearing a blue Canine Companions service dog vest.

Give a Dog a JobŪ

Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of children, adults and veterans with disabilities by providing expertly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

The assistance dogs we breed, raise and train aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends. They open up new opportunities and new possibilities, and spread incredible joy. We unite people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater independence and confidence.

Click here to visit cci.org for more information.

Dana's headshot

Dana Perino
Hearts & Heroes Honorary Chair

Fox News Channel anchor Dana Perino is the host of The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, and a co-host of The Five on Fox News.

Perino also served as the White House press secretary to President George W. Bush, the first woman to hold that position in a Republican administration. She joined the Justice Department as a spokesman after the 9/11 attacks, and served at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as well.

She has written two New York Times bestsellers, including "Let Me Tell You about Jasper…How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog".

Perino and her husband, Peter McMahon, are active with Mercy Ships, a surgical floating hospital that serves the forgotten poor in West Africa.

Originally from Wyoming and Colorado, Perino and Peter live in Manhattan with their six-year-old Vizsla, Jasper.

Andrea's headshot

Andrea McCarren
Master of Ceremonies

Andrea McCarren is a three-time puppy raiser and the Vice President and Chief Content Officer for PenFed Digital. She and her team produce daily content for PenFed Credit Union’s social media and digital platforms. Their mission is to serve PenFed’s 1.8 Million members by showcasing the stories of inspiring veterans and military families giving back to their communities.

Prior to joining PenFed in January, Andrea was an investigative reporter with the CBS station in Washington, D.C. Her reporting has been recognized with 22 Emmy Awards, and dozens of other national and local honors. She was also the recipient of the prestigious year-long Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

Andrea’s career includes covering the White House for ABC News, where she traveled weekly with the President on Air Force One. Andrea has served as a DC-based correspondent for NBC News, where she covered the White House, Pentagon and Capitol Hill.

James's headshot

James R. Schenck
President & CEO

James Schenck is President and CEO of PenFed Credit Union, headquartered in Tysons, Virginia. PenFed Credit Union is America’s second-largest federal credit union, serving 1.8 Million members worldwide. PenFed offers high-yield online savings accounts and market-leading certificates, checking, mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, and other financial services to the national defense community and all who support them.

James also serves as CEO for the PenFed Foundation, which has raised over $35 million to help military veterans heal their wounds, pay their bills, own their first homes, and start their own businesses.

During his military career, James flew Black Hawk helicopters in Korea and trained other Army aviators as a night vision goggle instructor pilot. James is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and West Point. James taught Economics and Finance at the United States Military Academy. In 2015, James was selected by HillVets as one of the 100 most influential and impactful veterans in the United States.

Ken with Canine Companions Service Dog Miller

USAF Veteran Ken Hernandez
& Service Dog Miller

Air Force Veteran and retired Port Authority Police Officer Ken Hernandez has served his country, and his local community. Now with assistance dog Miller by his side, Ken can continue his active lifestyle!

“I am just in awe of what Miller is capable of. Just getting around is difficult, and I need help when I am home alone. Miller is always there for me!”. 40 year-old Ken Hernandez of Westbury, NY enlisted in the US Air Force at age 23 and served his country for six years. After leaving the military, Ken became a Port Authority Police Officer until he retired following an accident. In November of 2017 Ken was matched with his new best friend Miller. “Miller allows me to get out more. I take him for walks, and he helps pick up things, and even helps me get dressed.” Miller the service dog is already well known here in New York. Raised by Saxon Eastman and Laura Tiburzi, Miller’s namesake is the Canine Companions immediate past-board chair John Miller and his family. After Miller was born he became the official “Spokesdog” for the Northeast Region as we counted down to the 10th anniversary celebration of the Miller Family Campus last year. Ken and his wife and two children enjoy spending time doing adaptive sports competitions with other wounded warriors, and Miller is right there to take in all the action. “Miller provides me with the independence I’ve longed for. He is amazing!”

Fred's headshot

Fred Granados
Hearts & Heroes Auctioneer

We are thrilled to welcome gala auctioneer and friend of Canine Companions Fred Granados to light up the room with his infectious energy and enthusiastic call to action at this year’s Hearts & Heroes Gala!

Fred’s kind and tenacious enthusiasm will shine through with every raise of the bid card and crowd-engaging moment.

Fred says “I love the Canine Companions' mission and can’t wait to help hit our goals tonight…to continue to provide expertly-trained assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities at no cost to the recipients…”

So, get ready to raise your bid card high and fast. Be sure not to miss one minute of fun or opportunity to win and support Canine Companions for Independence!

Elias with a puppy in his jacket

Elias Friedman
The Dogist

Elias Friedman is the founder and president of The Dogist as well as a strong supporter of Canine Companions. With hustle, grit and an unrivaled commitment to his art, he built the social media and digital storytelling platform that is now celebrated worldwide by an audience of 3.5 million. He is also a NYT bestseling author, gifted public speaker and proud advocate for many dog rescue and rehabilitation organizations. Nevertheless, humble to the core, he still puts on his knee pads daily and proudly photographs all content for The Dogist with unwavering commitment.