DOGNY: America's Tribute to Search and Rescue Dogs
Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Yankees Salute to DOGNY A Big Hit
The American Kennel Club and its DOGNY public art project became a part of the wonderful and colorful history of New York's legendary Yankee Stadium on Saturday, August 24.
Yankee stars Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, Alfonso Soriano and their teammates shared the field and the day with the AKC, which was honored for its DOGNY fundraising project for Search and Rescue Dogs nationwide. DOGNY, a tribute to the SAR dogs for their work in New York and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001, is well on the way to raising over $1 million for these dogs and their human partners, and others like them who perform heroic work every day across the country.
"DOGNY Day" began with a pre-game ceremony at home plate where representatives from the American Kennel Club and the Hartz Mountain Corporation were introduced to a home crowd of 53,494 prior to the Yankees-Texas Rangers game. Yankee announcer Bob Shepherd introduced AKC Vice President Dennis Sprung, who made a presentation on behalf of DOGNY to Robert Devine, President and CEO of Hartz, and to Alfred L. Cheauré, President and CEO of the AKC. Hartz was the major sponsor for the event, donating stuffed DOGNY Yankee toys to the first 25,000 children entering the stadium.
Six members of the NYPD Canine Unit, all of whom served at Ground Zero, joined the presentation, along with Hamlet, the Yankee Bomb Dog. Representatives from the Iams Corporation, which is sponsoring over 20 sculptures, and FedEx, which has donated its services to transport sculptures to and from artists, were also in attendance as major DOGNY sponsors.
Following the ceremony, Broadway and recording star Linda Eder sang a rousing rendition of the national anthem as the NYPD Canine Unit stood at attention in front of the enthusiastic fans. During the game, the DOGNY toy dogs were visible throughout the stadium, and the AKC logo was featured on the giant scoreboard and in another announcement.
"What a thrilling day for DOGNY and the American Kennel Club," said AKC Chairman of the Board Ron Menaker. "We thank the Yankees for their recognition and support of DOGNY and the nation's Search and Rescue Dogs."
In addition to Menaker, several DOGNY sponsors and Executive Committee members were special guests of the Yankees: Iams President Jeff Ansell, FedEx Senior Vice President Ken May, FedEx Senior District Manager Honi Reisman, Toni Sosnoff of Atalanta Sosnoff, John Daniello of JGD Associates, Matthew Stander and Eugene Zaphiris of Dog News, and AKC Board member Walter Goodman.
Ms. Eder and her husband, famed composer and Broadway producer Frank Wildhorn, and the NYPD Canine Unit teams were also part of the DOGNY party hosted by the Yankees in a private press-level suite.
Some additional notes from the Yankees' DOGNY Day: