The Girl Scout Campaign
The CHAMPS – Vermont – Girl Scouts Campaign, a group of twenty 4th and 5th grade girls and two very energetic and enthusiastic Troop Leaders, officially launched their campaign in April 2008.
These determined ladies got approval from the Vermont Girl Scout Council and began planning, and then working with Rotary Clubs, Historical Societies, Lions Clubs, and many other community organizations to make this Vermont dog a true Community Dog. The group decided to name their dog Champlain.
The Girl Scouts raised the first $15,000 for their mine detection dog and our CHAMPS Patron, Mrs. Joan Wismer, gave them their final $5,000 making their campaign a huge success.
The Vermont Campaign
The week of April 24th – 29th, 2005, was CHAMPS Week in the beautiful state of Vermont. The CHAMPS Team visited schools and Rotary Clubs in the greater Burlington area and throughout Vermont. Some of those schools were:
• Lyndon Town School, Lyndonville
• Edmunds Middle School, Burlington
• Hyde Park Elementary, Hyde Park
• Mater Christi School, Burlington
• Main Street School, Montpelier
• Tunbridge Central School, Tunbridge
• Mount St. Joseph Academy, Rutland
• Stratton Mountain School, Stratton Mountain
• Long Train School, Dorset
• Dorset Elementary School, Dorset
The Kickoff ceremony and luncheon took place at the Vermont College in Montpelier, and was sponsored by Norwich University. Vermont’s Governor Jim Douglas, Marcelle Leahy (wife of Senator Patrick Leahy), and General (Ret) Gordon Sullivan were among the dignitaries who attended the functions.
The CHAMPS Team visited the Rotary Club Meetings of the Burlington Rotary Club and the Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary Club too! At the Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary Club Breakfast Meeting the CHAMPS Director, Kimberly McCasland, sat next to a man (Michael Lazar) who asked a lot of questions and who, at the end of the day called The Marshall Legacy Institute’s main office in Arlington, Virginia, with the pledge to sponsor a dog!! The Michael Lazar Family sponsored a CHAMPS Dog they named Lilo.
Student Leaders Kaela Sullivan and Chloe Egan of the Edmunds Middle School, participated in their schools CHAMPS Campaign, and took it one step further. When their neighbors held a “Neighborhood Garage Sale” the girls went through their own personal belongings looking for things to sell and set up their own table that displayed the Newsweek Landmine Map and gave out lots of brochures and flyers that shared information about CHAMPS and the global efforts to rid the world of landmines!
These CHAMPS Students raised $275 by themselves that day for CHAMPS! These student leaders were invited to the Marshall Legacy Institute’s Clearing the Path Gala May 5th, 2006 in Washington, D.C., and attended the Annual CHAMPS Workshop the day after!
The Lazar Family Campaigns
The Lazar family organized three campaigns, sponsoring MDDs Lilo, Stitch, and Jonas! MDD Lilo, whose campaign was completed in 2005, worked hard to sniff out landmines in Bosnia and Herzegovina and MDD Stitch started working in Afghanistan in 2008. After many years of hard work, these MDDs are now retired. MDD Jonas, who was sponsored in 2010, continues sniffing out mines in Lebanon