Sheep Dogs of the Year Honored, Nearly $16,000 Raised for Veteran/First Responder ProgramsRogers, AR (February 25, 2015) – The 3rd Annual Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) Charity Ball was held on Saturday, February 14, 2015, at the Embassy Suites in Rogers. Over 250 people attended the formal fundraising event, including SDIA members and volunteers, sponsors, military and first responders, as well as the general public. Nearly $16,000 was raised during the evening; all proceeds will fund SDIA’s disaster relief missions and Sheep Dog in Need programs throughout 2015.

The Charity Ball’s special guests included two Combat Wounded Veterans: speaker Sgt Matthew Melancon, and guest of honor Cpl Nick Perales. Following the opening ceremonies and a performance by the Ozark Highlanders Pipe Band, Sgt Melancon spoke to attendees about his life prior to his injuries, joining the Army, the IED attack that eventually claimed both his lower legs, and the subsequent lessons learned from being a bilateral amputee. His speech brought both laughter and tears, and concluded with this quote from Nobel Peace Prize winner Alexis Carrel, “Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble, and the sculptor.”

Guests enjoyed dinner and dessert while bidding on silent and live auction items; photography services were provided by Striegler Photography. After dinner, attendees participated in honoring SDIA’s award winners:

Volunteer of the Year – Elisha Modisette (Bentonville, Arkansas);
Law Enforcement Sheep Dog of the Year – Lt. Chuck Haggard (Topeka, Kansas);
Fire & Rescue Sheep Dog of the Year – Firefighter Chadd Landress (Piney Flats, Tennessee);
Military Sheep Dog of the Year – 1st Sgt Steve Lowdermilk (Arkansas Army National Guard);
Community Partner of the Year – Outdoor Cap (Bentonville, Arkansas);
Sponsor of the Year – Walmart Print Solutions Center (Bentonville, Arkansas);
Cpl Nick Perales Commitment Award – Broadway Contracting and ProTrucks (both of Siloam Springs, Arkansas);
Lt Michael P. Murphy Outstanding Service Award – CrossFit NWA (Bentonville, Arkansas); and
Founders Award – PROPPER (St. Louis, Missouri)

Guest of honor Nick Perales was presented with a custom sniper rifle from Shooters of Siloam Springs and Christensen Arms to honor his service and sacrifice as a Scout/Sniper in the Marine Corps. Dancing and socializing rounded out the evening. This year’s Charity Ball would not have been the success it was without the support of our members, volunteers, and especially our Sponsors. Thank you to Host Sponsor, New Creature; Presenting Sponsors Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and Zantac; Honors Sponsors Walmart and PROPPER; and Media Sponsors Citiscapes Magazine, Celebrate Magazine, 3W Magazine and 104.9 The X.

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