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The Coulson Tough Campaign

After helping with the CHAMPS Texas Campaign several years ago, Shawn Creswell brought her enthusiasm for the CHAMPS program to her new school, Coulson Tough Elementary located in The Woodlands, TX. Students in Kindergarten through 6th grade at Coulson Tough are raising money for their Mine Detection Dog! They will be holding a “Naming Competition” to determine the name of their dog.

Shawn’s son, Billy Creswell, was one of the Student Leaders of the CHAMPS Texas Campaign!

The Blaze Campaign

Student leaders of the Blaze Campaign:  Cody Treybig, Lucas Van Dyke, and Daniel Sweeney, have worked tirelessly in fundraising for the sponsorship of a lifesaving Mine Detection Dog. They raised $20,000 and their dog, MDD Blaze, was fully funded!

While attending Trinity Episcopal, Cody Treybig was very involved in the campaign to sponsor MDD Tornado.  Cody had been so touched by that campaign and its success, as a tenth grader attending the Upper School at St. Stephen’s Episcopal, he decided to lead a team of students and launch a new campaign to sponsor yet another dog in the Austin, Texas area — to be named MDD Blaze!  The “Team Blaze” student leaders and members of the Marshall Legacy Institute met at St. Stephens Episcopal School Chapel to discuss their campaign to sponsor a lifesaving Mine Detection Dog with the Middle and Upper Schools.  Several hundred students learned about the work the “Team Blaze” was doing to help rid the world of landmines.

“Team Blaze” got very busy promoting their campaign – creating a Facebook page to promote and highlight his teams’ efforts and a YouTube public service video.  The “Team Blaze” student leaders also prepared for and ran a fundraising event which raised over $10,000 in one evening!

Student Leaders of the campaign: Cody Treybig, Lucas Van Dyke, and Daniel Sweeney, worked tirelessly in fundraising for the sponsorship of a lifesaving Mine Detection Dog.  Through their efforts, they raised $20,000 and their dog, MDD Blaze, was fully funded!

Once funded, the trio traveled to Somerset, Texas, to pick out their MDD from the four dogs that had just completed their first phase of training at Global Training Academy (GTA).  These four dogs would be deploying soon to Basra, Iraq to complete their 2nd phase of training and to be certified by the UN for Mine Action.

During their visit to GTA, the boys watched simulated minefield demonstrations by 4 MDD’s and got to ask questions of the trainers. Then, they were able to meet all 4 dogs, select and interact with their dog. They even got to play for a short time with their selected dog, Blaze and her ball!

She is a beautiful Belgian Malinois and the boys are quite proud of her, and the fact that she will “sniff mines” and save lives in Iraq for the next 6-8 years because they have done this incredible thing!

In addition to leading the campaign to sponsor MDD Blaze, Cody Treybig also raised awareness and funds to provide young landmine survivors with new prosthetic limbs.  Thanks Cody and Team Blaze for all of your work in the CHAMPS Program!


The Apollo Campaign

It was a cold February morning back in 2005 when CHAMPS Director, Kimberly McCasland, got an email from Scott Sellers, a Football Coach in Richardson, Texas about his 9th graders wanting to sponsor a mine detection dog!  The kids in his 9th grade class wanted to leave a mark, they wanted to leave a lasting legacy, and sponsoring a dog named Apollo was the way they wanted to do that.

These kids put together an awesome campaign and in no time raised funds to sponsor their mine detection dog.  Apollo (also known as the mythological God of the Sun) was the perfect name for the light their dog has spread in otherwise dangerous mine-affected countries.

MDD Apollo worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 6 years before retiring to live with his handler.


The Woodlands Campaign

Students of the Woodlands High School have shown how determined a group of Texans can be when they suffered a devastating set-back (in April) at the end of their first fundraiser “Laps for Lives”.  While incredibly successful, raising more than $9,000 on this single day, they were robbed at the end of the event and everything was lost, never to be found!

The Houston media was quick to step in to help.  The CHAMPS Team, consisting of both the schools Interact Club and their CIA (Council for International Affairs) Club, reached out to other schools, participated in TV and newspaper interviews, and with true Texas spirit, continued on with their campaign to sponsor a Mine Detection Dog.  With help from Houston’s Mix 96.5 radio station, Channel 13, the Houston Courier, and the entire Houston area community, the CHAMPS Team raised $25,000 by the first week in June!

After raising the funds to sponsor a dog, the Woodlands CHAMPS Team traveled to Somerset, Texas to the training facility of Global Training Academy where they met 4 dogs who were training to be deployed to Iraq.  Of the four dogs, they selected a beautiful male Belgian Malinois …..his name is Texas!

The funds raised for the Woodlands Campaign went over the amount needed to sponsor their MDD – the extra amounts were applied to help young landmine survivors in Iraq!


The Tornado Campaign

In 2008, a group of a few hundred wonderful students, some incredible teachers, a lot of very involved and supportive parents, and a new Headmaster Mort Dukehart at Trinity Episcopal School in Austin, Texas worked together to sponsor a dog they named, Tornado.

Their first function was a Read-A-Thon on March 9th of that year. Every student in the school was involved. The kids got their parents, friends, relative’s, anyone who would listen to them about what they were doing, to pledge to pay them a certain amount for every minute they read that day. The school made sure they had recess, lunch, speech therapy or whatever special activities a student might have, but 180 minutes that day was dedicated to Reading for Tornado. During those 180 minutes of reading, they raised over $28,416!!

Later that year, they held another fundraiser to support landmine survivors. The “Dog Days of Spring Carnival” included a “Dog Wash,” a “Dog Talent Show,” a Baked Goods sale, a “Doggie Parade” with dogs in costume and prizes for the most original, best dressed, most adorable, etc.


The Legacy Campaign

San Antonio, Texas students along with teacher, Cassandra Allen, launched a group effort to sponsor a Mine Detection Dog to be named Legacy.

The students at The International School of the Americas (ISA) and the organization, MUNSA XVI: Legacy Conference all donated to the cause, as well as students who attended the conference from all over Texas, Mexico, and China.

They held two online contests: ‘Raise Your Hand Texas Facebook Photo Contest’ and ‘Act Out Loud Anti-texting while Driving Video Contest.’ They organized two very successful Pancake Dinners with Silent Auctions. There was a MUNSA XVI Delegate Dance that was lots of fun and had everyone “kickin’ up their heels!” The MUNSA Campaign also raised funds at several local restaurant fundraisers, to include: EZ’s Brick Oven & Grill, Big’z Burger Joint, and Beto’s on Broadway. At these restaurants, they had live student bands perform and they received a percentage of the food from the evening! Wow, what a great idea! They also sold MUNSA merchandise which included t-shirts and bracelets.

These students, along with several other local schools worked hard and it sure paid off — MDD Legacy has been fully funded!

The funds raised for the campaign went over the amount needed to sponsor their MDD and the extra amounts have been applied to help young landmine survivors in Yemen and Afghanistan!

International School of the America’s National Honor Society
St. Mary’s Hall
Claudia Taylor Johnson High School
Ronald Reagan High School
Thomas C. Clark High School
Oak Hills Rotary Club

Tatiana Hoecker, student leader of the MUNSA Campaign, joined the MLI/CHAMPS Donor Trip to Sri Lanka (summer 2013)!  She also interned at the Marshall Legacy Institute main office located in Arlington, Virginia during the summer of 2013 before returning to college in the fall.


Seven Lakes Campaign

Seven Lakes High School, located in Katy, Texas, was on a mission!  Students from the Interact Club helped raise awareness about the landmine issue and raised funds to sponsor their very own landmine detection dog — to be named Spartacus.

Teachers, Jessica Postlethwaite and Angel Fowler worked with students and came up with several fundraisers to be held during the school year.

The students sold custom dog tags and bracelets and held bake sales every other week.  Ms. Postlethwaite’s brownies were a great success and sold out each and every time!   The Interact Club, along with other students at Seven Lakes held a “Dog Days of Spring” festival to raise money for CHAMPS.  The special guest at the festival was Utsi, MLI’s former CHAMPS Canine Ambassador to the US, who demonstrated her amazing mine detecting skills.  The festival included a dog walk called “Laps for Lives” where pets and owners walked laps for the chance to win a pet-themed gift basket.  They also held a Silent Auction featuring items from local businesses, a dog wash, food and drink stands, and — of course — a fun zone for kids featuring bouncy houses, carnival games, and other fun activities.  A visit from the local law enforcement, including a K-9 unit, was also part of the festival that day.  It was a great success!

The entire student campus there at Seven Lakes participated in a contest to see which 3rd period class could raise the most money for Spartacus…..the winning class received candy goody bags and the winning teacher got a gift basket!

Two of the “feeder schools” in the Katy area – Bonnie Holland Elementary and Woodcreek Junior High – also hosted CHAMPS presentations and supported fundraising efforts to raise money for Spartacus!

This campaign was run by: Seven Lakes High School, Katy, TX with the help of:

La Vergne Lake Elementary, La Vergne, TN
Bonnie Holland Elementary School, Katy, TX
Woodcreek Middle School, Katy, TX
Morton Ranch High School, Katy, TX
Kempner High School, Sugar Land, TX
Katy Sunrise Rotary, Katy, TX

The funds raised for the Campaign went over the amount needed to sponsor their MDD, so the extra amounts have been applied to help young landmine survivors in Iraq!

Student leaders from the Seven Lakes High School Spartacus campaign took a trip to Somerset, Texas — the home of Global Training Academy. The students not only toured the GTA Facility, they also were able to pick out their dog. MDD Spartacus was deployed to Sri Lanka to seek out landmines and help save lives!

As part of MLI’s Donor Delegation, Jessica Postlethwaite traveled to the beautiful country of Sri Lanka to visit the mine fields, meet with the Secretary of Defense of Sri Lanka, meet land mine survivors of that country, and to meet Seven Lakes newly sponsored Mine Detection Dog — MDD Spartacus and his handler.

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