A Friday of Firsts

 In Events, Facility Dogs, PPH Alaska

Long have we waited to come outside after nine months of winter hiding.  As we emerge from our cold-weather lairs to welcome the sunshine and warmth of Spring with all her charms, we remain enthralled by the magic here in Alaska and are somehow filled with the courage to stay through yet another winter. So the cycle continues.  One key part of the cycle here in Fairbanks is our beloved First Friday.  This once-a-month city-wide art gallery event can happen at a formal gallery, a coffee shop, or even a food truck.  A true Fairbanks experience!

Fairbanks Arts Association Programs and Communication Coordinator Nike Bahr observes “First Fridays are busy in this town and many members of our community become active arts participants for a night. Galleries, cafes, offices and breweries around Fairbanks provide visual artists with the opportunity to exhibit works and then open their doors to the public for an opening reception during the First Friday of each month. These events are quite popular around Fairbanks and community members make it a point to visit as many places as possible, engaging in conversation and enjoying the artistry in our vibrant community.”

This month the popular food truck restaurant, Zorba on the Run, hosted First Friday. Zorba on the Run was started by Mehrdad Sabri and his mother Shamsi Moshtael in 1997. They opened their restaurant because they wanted to bring a taste of exotic Persia to Alaska.  They feature gyros, falafel, and many more tasty treats. They hosted other artists and companies such as Marlo’s Bakery, Mama Bears Kombucha, Bushel & a Peck Boutique, Northwoods Book Arts Guild, Northern Nest, and many more. They even invited Paws for Purple Hearts to be a non-profit recipient for the first time!

Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) is an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of America’s Warriors – Veterans and Active Duty Service Members. PPH helps in two major ways:

  1. Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy®. Our innovative Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy® helps Warriors who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) reduce the severity of their symptoms.  During our therapy sessions, Warriors care for and train dogs destined to become highly capable service dogs for other challenged Warriors.  We have filled more than 8,000 therapy session slots to date, and our programs continue to grow!
  2. Service dog placement. We provide top-tier Service Dogs to Warriors with PTSD, TBI and/or mobility impairments at no cost to them.   An impressive feat considering the fact that a fully trained service dog can cost more than $30,000.

We are able to help these deserving Warriors thanks to our dedicated volunteers and generous donors.

Help by becoming a volunteer today!

Our volunteers are the heart within the heart. From walking dogs, to helping at events such as the First Friday, to even becoming a puppy parent – we couldn’t do it without them!

Help by donating

More than 95% of PPH fundraising money comes from patriots like you being moved by PPH’s mission. Please consider donating to help meet the goal of having a facility within two-hours driving distance to more than 80% of the Veteran population. Your contribution large or small makes a difference in the lives of Veterans.

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