The Seeing Eye Guide


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The Seeing Eye Guide

A magazine for friends of The Seeing Eye

Winter 2015-2016

Volume 81, Number 3

The cover photo shows a golden retriever puppy peeking between the two trunks of a snow-covered split-trunk oak tree. The tree is covered with snow and ice.


Winter 2015-2016, Volume 81, Number 3

Letters to The Seeing Eye

Graduate Profile: Kyle Street and Sioban Leahy

Volunteer Recognition Reception

Heads Up!

History Channel Award

Seeing Eye Dogs On A World Tour!

This issue of The Guide is underwritten, in part, by income from a special bequest by Margaret Ann Barbour, May 13, 1931 – January 15, 2003, in support of the mission of The Seeing Eye.

On the Cover:

A young golden retriever offers winter greetings. Photo courtesy of Forward to the Future Seeing Eye Puppy Club of Gloucester County, New Jersey.

A Seeing Eye Perspective

This story has a photo of Seeing Eye President and CEO James A. Kutsch Jr. with his Seeing Eye dog, a German shepherd named Vegas. Kutsch is wearing a blue shirt and khaki slacks and has his arm around Vegas, who is panting so he appears to be smiling. Behind them are green bushes.

Collaboration is really at the heart of what we do here at The Seeing Eye. Last summer, Seeing Eye graduates Sioban Leahy and Kyle Street asked us if they could have their wedding on campus. We do have a picture-perfect campus, but we haven’t hosted a wedding in some time. The last time we had a wedding on campus was for two of our instructors, Lea Bolling and David Johnson. I won’t say how long ago that was, but I do want to wish their son Taylor good luck in college this fall.

So it’s not something we’ve done recently. But the staff really pulled together, and as you can see from the pictures in this issue, they are a beautiful couple and they had a beautiful day. It goes to show you the power of teamwork.

We’re big on teamwork at The Seeing Eye. When a person who is blind or visually impaired graduates from The Seeing Eye and leaves with his or her Seeing Eye® dog, we call them a team.

And it takes a team to make a team.

Breeding station staff and volunteer puppy raisers, veterinary staff and instructors, all of our other staff members and volunteers… each one plays a role in nurturing that newborn puppy small enough to sleep in the palm of your hand, to one day filling out a harness and guiding a person to a life of enhanced independence and greater mobility.

And while our students are here on campus, we also have a team making sure they are learning how to handle their dogs, as well as learning how to care for them. We also want their stay to be as comfortable as possible… or at least, as comfortable as it can be when your day starts at 5:30 a.m. and includes miles of walking every day, in all kinds of weather! Teamwork makes it all possible.

There are many other members of the team I should acknowledge: you, our donors. Your support ensures that The Seeing Eye will be here for as long as people need Seeing Eye dogs. On behalf of all our graduates, and our puppies, thank you for being part of our team.

Welcome to The Seeing Eye Heritage Society

This page has an illustration of Buddy, the German shepherd who was teamed with Morris Frank and was the world’s first Seeing Eye dog.
The Seeing Eye Heritage Society was founded in 1989 to recognize and honor those individuals who have taken the important step of including a legacy gift to The Seeing Eye in their financial portfolios or estate plans. Members of The Heritage Society have recognized the importance of the continuation of our work with people who are blind and visually impaired and have expressed a commitment to that end by planning a gift which will help provide for the future success of the school.
Legacy gifts make up a large portion of the donations received by The Seeing Eye each year, for which we are most grateful. Gifts of this nature secure the future of our mission, providing ongoing services to our graduates and new students.
It is very possible that you are eligible for membership in The Heritage Society, but haven’t let us know. If you have created a bequest in your will or trust, or named The Seeing Eye as beneficiary of a charitable trust, a retirement plan, or a life insurance policy, you are eligible to become a member of The Heritage Society! We want very much to be able to say “thank you” and include you in The Heritage Society events. Please take a moment to inform us of your intention by calling 973-539-4425 x1735 or email
Across these pages you will see the names of those individuals who have informed us of their extraordinary commitment to enhancing the independence, dignity, and self-confidence of people who are blind through the use of Seeing Eye® dogs by providing for The Seeing Eye in their estate plans. Thank you!

Ms. Pauline Alexander

Mrs. Cynthia Allen

William Allmer

Jen Armbruster

Tamara Armstrong

Rana Arnold

Ms. Murielle Arseneau

Mrs. Rhoda Attanasio

Barbara A. Backer, RN

James & Irene Baranski

Dr. & Mrs. James Barnes

Dr. Michael L. Barnett

Paul L. Bash

Andrea & Mitch Becker

Rita V. Bergerson

Mr. & Mrs. Paul P. Bernstein

Ms. Nancy Conant Berresford

Miss Barbara Blejewski

Nanette Boak

Miss Candice Bolte

Doris Bowen

Mr. Kenneth Bowles

Arnold Bowser

Fred & Kathy Brack

Carole J. Brand

Mr. Daniel P. Braun

Art & Mary Braunschweiger

Mrs. Robert A. Breitweiser in memory of Lt. Gen. Robert A. Breitweiser

Nina R. Brilli

William* and Mrs. Gloria Brinker

Barbara Brooks Family Trust

Mr. & Mrs. William Brouillard

Cindy Brown

Carol & Ray Bsarany

Mr. & Mrs. Gary Buck

Dr. Mari Bull

Ms. Joan E. Burgomaster

Lolly & Jay Burke

Lloyd Burlingame

Cynthia Ann Burns

Mr. & Mrs. Frederick B. Campbell

Thomas J. Cancro

Ms. Judi Cannon

Mr. Richard Cannon

Donna A. Carides

Mr. & Mrs. James W. Carrier

Julie H. Carroll, Esq.

Ms. Judith Carson

Carole Doosey Cascella

Ms. Lauren Casey

Ms. Rosemary Catalana

Mrs. Ann L. Cavalli

Catherine A.M. Cavanaugh

David & Marion Chappell

Mrs. Margaret P. Chappell

Mr. & Mrs. John Charshafian

Mr. Thomas J. Cherry

Dr. Lawrence X. Clifford

Mr. & Mrs. Robert W. Collin

Mr. & Mrs. Patrick G. Constantinides

Mr. Alan Conway

Miss Ann L. Corbly

George & Nancy Cottrell

Mrs. Joan Coughlin

Mr. Charles Crawford

Mrs. Lee Crossman

Deborah E. Curtis

Mr. John A. D'Ambra

Mr. Alan Dalton

Regina Dantas

Craig Davis

Lois N. DeConca

Mrs. Elizabeth Sandra DeGeorge

Ms. Raye L. Delle

Lori & Dennis DeMarco

Francis & Karen DeNaro

Ms. Denise DePalma

Doris N. Desher

Ms. Barbara Dicks

Margie Donovan

Dr. & Mrs. George Alexander Doumani

Janice G. Drake

Ms. Michele Drolet

Kenneth Duncan & Patricia Lewis*

The Honorable & Mrs. Davis Duty

Mr. & Mrs. David J. Ebel

Douglas & Wyndham Eberle

Dr. Sylvia Ebert

Mr. & Mrs. Terry J. Eld

Dr. & Mrs. James Elston

Marcus Engel

Lorraine Engenito

Elizabeth Esposito Chiarella

Miss Susan Etters

Gary A. Eulo

Albert Evans

Donna J. Evans

Mr. Paul H. Falon

Stuart H. & Sandra K. Fine

Ms. Eleanor A. Finnin

Mrs. Margaret Fitzgerald

Patricia E. Fleming

Mr. Gene F. Forsyth

Ms. Jane L. Fouraker

Maria Franchino

Mrs. Mary M. Franklin

Mr. Robert E. Friedman

Ms. Irene M. Gaitley

Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Gallagher

Tom Garner

Mrs. Peggy Garrett

Ms. Helen Gartman

Hank & Gudy Gautschy

Drs. Philip & Marjorie Gerdine

Shirley M. Giovannoli

Florence Susan Godek

Keith Gonzalez

Mr. Brian Gourley

Joan Grandinetti

Peggy Grow

Elsie D. Hajdics

Robert & Dana Hamwee

Marilyn & Gord Harris

Ms. Mary Ellen Harris

Peggy Harris

Mr. J. Philip Hart

Timothy & Lorraine Hartley

Ms. Joan D. Hassan

Robert & Jean Hegedus

Ken Hehan

Mr. & Mrs. David G. Henry

F. Lois Henry

Tidi B. Herndon

Mr. & Mrs. Gordon C. Hill

Jamie C. Hilton

Jim & Debbie Hoffert

Mrs. Elizabeth Hontz

Claire A. Hopkins

Don Horneff

Mrs. Vivian Hulse

Dr. Brook P. & Diane Hunt

Ms. Mary Jane Irwin

Graham & Jean Jeffrey

Miss Barbara L. Jennings

Miss Natalie Johnson

Priscilla H. Johnson

Mr. R. Bruce Johnson

In memory of Dolores Johnston

Lynda Jones

Ms. Jane Judson

Mrs. Karen Julius

Mr. Howard J. Kahn

Arthur & Esther Kane

Dr. Sivia Kaye

Mrs. Virginia S. Kelcec

Kevin & Gina Keyte

Mrs. Junerose Killian

Mr. Larry E. Kittrell

Joseph Dean Klatt, PhD

Ms. Toni M. Knie

Cameron & Martha Koblish

Raymond & Lois Kohan

Earl & Anna Kragnes

Norma Krajczar

Charles W. & Cissy R. Kramer

Mrs. Gaytha Kraushar

Ulrike Kreiner-Holzhauer & Viktor Kreiner

Mr. Harry L. Krueger

Dr. James A. Kutsch, Jr. & Mrs. Ginger B. Kutsch

Ms. Elissa La Bagnara

Jean La Plante

Mrs. Mary Lacatena & Mr. Jerome Lacatena

Mr. & Mrs. John Lafenhagen

Ms. Barbara A. Landmann

Annette M. Lange

Jacqueline Lanning

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Lardine

Theresa Lassek

Thomas Lauria

Elaine J. Lawrason

Kathleen & Leonard Lederer

Mr. Ralph W. Ledford

Dr. Harold F. Leeper & Ms. Ann B. Gourley

Kaye Leslie

Helen & Robert Levins

Dr. Rebecca Lineberger

Irwin & Lois Ann Linker

Richard H. Livesey III & Mrs. Mae F. Livesey

Judith & Victor V. Lolli

Mr. Michael Paul Lund

Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Lurie

Mr. Edward Macauley

Ted Macdonald

Mrs. Marjorie Machesney

James & Eugenia MacKellar

Mary Jeanne Maclaurin

David Mangeim

Mrs. Ann Mann

Mrs. Hollyse Mann

Mary Manwaring

Donna Jean Marrone in memory of Louis Jr. & Karen Ann

Ms. Phyllis J. Marsteller

Robert & Debra Mastera

Camille Mastri

Ms. Flora Mattis

Mrs. Gwynne G. McDevitt

Mrs. Toula McEllen

Erin McNamara

Mr. David McShane

Mr. William Meinecke

Mr. Richard G. Mercner

Mrs. Judith Meyers

Stephen & Marsha Meyers

Michael & Sylvie Meyers-Jouan

Barbara Michie

Mrs. Melba Middleton

Asya Miller

Betty Miller

Mr. Edward W. Miller

Lois Mills

Harriet E. Monaghan

Pim Montgomery

Mrs. Barbara Moore

Rev. Bonnie L. Moore

Jeanne-Marie Moore

Helen F. Morgan

Paul & Rosie Morline

Jed C. Morris

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph D. Moulton

Ms. Phyllis M. Murphy

Jeanne C. Myers

Dr. Grace Napier

Mrs. Jeanne Neale

Miss Evelyn M. Nemes

Dr. & Mrs. Edwin B. Nettleton

Dr. Aminda Nicoloro

Ms. Arlene Nihan

Mrs. Renate S. Nolius

Mr. & Mrs. James M. Norman

Barbara W. Nugent

Steve Nugent

Richard K. O'Dea

Mrs. Juanita B. Oleyar

Louise B. Olshan

Mr. & Mrs. L. Ostar

Mrs. Margaret S. Osterhoudt

Elizabeth Ostrowski

Margaret E. Otto

Mrs. Irene Palazzo

Mrs. Ethel H. Palmer

Lois Paris

Mr. & Mrs. Ben Parisi

Theodore C. Paulson, Sr.

Mr. Louis Pepe

Ms. Zucel Perez

Mr. & Mrs. Jack Peterson

Gail J. Petre

Miss Camille Petrecca

Dianne & Beverly Petty

Mrs. Lisa Pfleider

Mr. & Mrs. W. John Phillips

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Piasecki

Mr. William J. Pimblott

Miss Gladys R. Pincus

Cheryl L. Pitz

Deacon Robert Pladek

Martha & Howard Polin

Dena L. Polston

Andrea C. Popick

Mr. Charles A. Prescott

Ralph & Sandy Price

Mr. George T. Pullman

Mr. William D. Quick

Ms. Ellen L. Quimper

Claire Durand Racamato

Mildred & John Rasweiler

Mrs. Ruth Reed

Miss Monte F. Richardson

Buddy & Nancy Richman

Mr. & Mrs. Robert R. Roberts

Ms. Rachel Robinson

Miss Marilyn Rodda

Claire Barlow Roffino

Mr. Thom Rogers & Mr. James W. Stoecker

Richard & Lisa Roiseman

June Catherine Romano

Diane Romano

Barbara Ina Rosen in memory of Rose & Max Rosen

Elyse G. Rosenfield

Ms. Grace Rosenthal

Mr. Kenneth Rosenthal

Jan Rumbaugh

David A. Salo

Mr. Anthony Salvati

Sylvia Sammons

Dave & Janet Sanders

Doris R. Satterwhite

Susan Schechter

Mrs. Linda D. Schmider

Patricia & Richard Schnadig

Katherine Schneider, Ph.D.

Mr. & Mrs. Leon E. Schrader

Ms. Betsy Schuhart

Narrin Schwartz

Mary Dell Scobey & Stan Scobey

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Scott

Helen E. Sheehan

Katherine Shelton

Irene Sidun

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Silver

Judith L. Sissick

Ann C. Smith

Mr. Gerald Smith

Cornelia J. Smith

Janet L. Smith

Mrs. Lenore Smith

Susan V. Smith

James C. Solly in memory of Eleanora M. Solly

Mrs. Lillian S. Stamler

Ms. Valorie Stanard

Mrs. Lois A. Stange

Mark & Barbara Steinberg

James E. Stephens

Eva Marie Stevens

Jo Anne Stevens

Carol Stevens Hewson

Mrs. Marilyn Stiglitz

Mrs. Gloria Strei

Mr. Bruce Strnad

Mrs. Miriam Strong

Helen Jo Taliaferro

Leon A. Tierney, Jr.

Mr. Peter M. Tilkin

Jane Toleno

Kathy Towson

Miriam Travis

Mrs. Eileen L. Trotta

Mr. John Turner

Carol A. Ungro

Ms. Peg Van Patton

Shirley M. Vavra

Mark Vellen

Dr. Brian Wallach

Mrs. Doreen Waller

Mr. & Mrs. Frank E. Walsh, Jr.

Sally A. Webb

Ms. Jane Weidlund

Mrs. Dorothy Weidowke

Mr. & Mrs. Eric Whalen

Miss Suzanne Whalen

Mrs. Marie Whitlatch

Ms. Theresa Wierszylo

Virginia & James M. Wild

Ms. Diane Wilgan

Dwight Wilson, Jr.

Vicky Winslow

Mrs. Sharon F. Wolf

Ms. Karen A. Wood

Patricia J. Woolard-Wolff

Mary E. Wurst

Joyce B. Young

Richard & Simone Zoladz

29 Members wish to remain anonymous

*In memoriam

Letters to The Seeing Eye

Dear Seeing Eye:

I wanted to take a moment to drop you the best New Year’s wishes for staff, volunteers, and dogs alike. The Seeing Eye has enhanced my life with a total of four superb dogs in the last 21 years. Without my dogs to assist me, life would be much more difficult and dangerous out there. Having two heads and four sets of eyes and ears makes my world so much safer.

Thank you for working with me over these last 21 plus years. Thank you for three amazing golden retrievers and now my first German shepherd, Jaya. I cannot express how safe this dog helps me to feel out there as the dynamics of the local area change and shift. She is so responsive and sensitive to check on me as we work together.

Thanks to all of the training staff who go out to do field work with each of our teams. Jaya and I are doing very well at the swimming club where we are members. Everyone there has been so gracious and kind to me. While I swim in the pool, Jaya lays next to the lifeguard and sleeps with her head on my pool bag, which has two big comfy towels inside for her to feel cushioned while she naps.

May all at the Seeing Eye be blessed with much in 2016. Happy New Year!

Angie Polizzotto

Seeing Eye graduate

Dear Seeing Eye:

I want to thank you for giving me almost 50 years of independence with my wonderful dogs! Thank you for these amazing dogs.

Please tell the staff that I appreciate all of their hard work, and keep going.

Irma Herzog

Seeing Eye graduate

Dear Seeing Eye:

I am writing to express my gratitude in recently being awarded the Fludzinski Foundation Puppy Raiser Scholarship.

I have been a puppy raiser with the Atlantic and Cape May counties puppy group, People & Puppies at Work for Sight, for more than 10 years and have raised eight puppies for The Seeing Eye. Although it has been difficult at times, especially when the puppies had to return for their advanced training, the experience will always be one of my fondest memories. It was my work with the dogs that inspired me to pursue a career in the sciences. In the fall I will be attending Florida State University where I will be majoring in biology and my first year of study will take place in Valencia, Spain. The scholarship I received from The Seeing Eye and your generosity will help me finance this endeavor.

Thank you again for your kindness and support to The Seeing Eye and the scholarship fund for puppy raisers.

Amanda Avagliano

Dear Seeing Eye:

We want to say thank you for all you do to help the visually impaired have a better life. We are so proud to be members of the Heritage Society.

Please accept this donation as our Christmas gift to The Seeing Eye as well as a donation in memory of Hunter – a beautiful golden who was a certified therapy dog. He went into schools and worked with autistic children.

God bless each and every one of you.

Simone and Rich Zoladz

Graduate Profile

Making a Match

This story has two wedding photos of Kyle Street and Sioban Leahy on the grounds of The Seeing Eye. The first shows Sioban, in a white wedding dress holding a bouquet of colorful flowers, standing with Kyle, wearing a black tuxedo with a white tie. The second shows them kissing in the gazebo after the ceremony. Lying on the floor behind them you can see Sioban’s Seeing Eye dog, a German shepherd named Annie. The caption reads: Kyle and Sioban kiss in the gazebo as Annie, Sioban’s Seeing Eye dog, looks on. There is a third photo of their newborn son, James Thomas Street.

Kyle Street and Sioban Leahy had their lives changed by The Seeing Eye… in more ways than one.

Kyle and Sioban met at The Seeing Eye in 2011. Four years later, when they were talking about where to get married, they settled on the obvious choice: The Seeing Eye!

Kyle is a technical adviser for Apple, providing technical support over the phone for customers, and is pursuing a degree in accounting. He first came to The Seeing Eye in June 2011 and was matched with his first dog, a yellow Labrador-golden retriever cross named P.J.

“I knew that I wanted a guide dog, but I knew nothing about guide dog schools,” Kyle said. “I just did a Google search one day, and I called the first school that came up. To be honest, it wasn’t The Seeing Eye. The person who answered the phone was very abrupt and I just didn’t get a good feeling. So I called the second one on the list, which was The Seeing Eye. And I got a great feeling. It was just dumb luck that I found the best school.”

Unfortunately, P.J. opted for early retirement – he now lives with friends in Ohio – and Kyle returned in 2014 to be matched with his second dog, Qaden, a female yellow Labrador-golden retriever cross. Kyle said working with a Seeing Eye dog is freeing, and not just in the sense of being able to travel independently.

“When I am working with a cane, I have to be focused on what I’m doing,” Kyle explained. “You’re finding every crack, every crevice, every trash can. I have to process all that information while trying to navigate to where I’m going. With Qaden, it’s not that you’re getting less information, but you’re getting different information. She is focused, and I can think about other things. She also helps with street crossings. If I make a mistake, she’s there to look out for me. I’m not just at the mercy of the drivers.”

Sioban was matched with her first dog, a black Labrador retriever named Nixie, in 2002, but she had to retire early, and in 2004 Sioban replaced her with a yellow Labrador/golden cross named Missy. After Missy retired in 2011, she returned to be paired with a German shepherd named Annie.

“I’ve had dogs almost half my life,” Sioban said.

A New Jersey native, Sioban’s parents were friends with a Seeing Eye graduate and were puppy raisers. “There was no question that when I was old enough, I was going to get a guide dog – and that it was going to come from The Seeing Eye,” Sioban said. “As soon as I turned 16, I started the application process. I thought, if my friends are going to be driving at 17, I’m going to have a Seeing Eye dog!”

Sioban, who has a master’s in social work, is a teacher assistant for the Jersey City Public Schools, working with children who need help learning life and social skills. She said her commute – she can take either the light rail train or the bus as well as walking several blocks – is about 45 minutes to an hour, door to door, including wait times. “Without Annie, it would be twice that,” she said.

Just as Kyle nearly picked another school, Sioban nearly picked another month to come to The Seeing Eye that year. But once again, fate intervened, putting both of them in that June 2011 class.

“I thought about going to The Seeing Eye in May, because I wanted to have the same instructor again,” Sioban said. “But I really couldn’t afford to take off work, so I waited until after school was out in June. And that’s when I met Kyle.”

She said her first impression of Kyle was, “Wow, he’s cute. I’d like to get to know him!”

“And that’s unusual for me. It usually takes me awhile to warm up to people,” she said. “But we hit it off. First we became friends, and then we started hanging out, and it was sort of like… now we’re dating.”

“We started going to visit each other – I’d go up to New Jersey, she’d come down to North Carolina,” Kyle said. “We did that for about a year before we decided maybe we should get together.”

“It was so easy, because we already knew everything about each other,” Sioban said. “We didn’t have that awkward getting-to-know-you phase, because we already knew everything about each other.”

“They say you should marry your best friend, and that’s what we did,” Kyle said.

Their wedding day was June 27, 2015 – coincidentally, the four-year anniversary of the date they were matched with P.J. and Annie!

They had a small ceremony in a gazebo on campus, overlooking the Washington Valley. The reception was held inside the Main House of The Seeing Eye.

“It was amazing how it was transformed,” Sioban said. “It really came together perfectly.”

Kyle and Sioban already have started the next chapter of their lives together: On December 30, Sioban had a healthy baby boy named James Thomas Street (8 pounds, 7 ounces, and 20 inches long).

“Annie keeps trying to bring James her toys,” Sioban said.

“We have a lot of family support,” she said. “And Kyle is a big help. He’s a better diaper changer than I am.”

“I’ve been adapting my entire life, so this is just something else to adapt to,” Kyle said. “It’s little things. You make sure the pacifier is attached to his clothing so you can quickly find it, for example. Really, the biggest adjustment is learning how to function on little sleep.”

Volunteer Recognition Reception

We Couldn’t Do It Without You!

Carmella Passaro is the 2015 Volunteer of the Year

On this page is a picture of Carmella Passaro standing with Seeing Eye President & CEO James Kutsch and his Seeing Eye dog, a German shepherd named Vegas.

“The Seeing Eye could not succeed without the generosity of others,” Seeing Eye President & CEO James Kutsch said. “People not only donate funds and remember us in their wills and estates, but we also are grateful for those who are able to donate their time and energy.”

In addition to its hundreds of puppy raiser families, The Seeing Eye also has about 160 on-campus volunteers performing a variety of tasks, from caring for dogs to welcoming campus visitors.

On September 24, The Seeing Eye thanked its volunteers with a reception held on campus. All volunteers were invited to attend, and gifts were presented to the 59 volunteers who achieved milestones of 1, 5, 10, 15, or – in the case of David Bailin – 20 years of volunteer service.

Carmella Passaro, a volunteer in the Puppy Development department, was named The Seeing Eye’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year. Coincidentally, she also was recognized for 10 years of service at the reception. Carmella is a “puppy relay” volunteer, bringing puppies to puppy raiser families and bringing the dogs back to The Seeing Eye when they’re old enough to begin training. She also helps with Family Day, when puppy raisers are invited to The Seeing Eye campus, and at other events; at the breeding station; in the Stabile Canine Health Center; and anywhere else she’s needed. She has helped the Donor & Public Relations Department with its annual online auction, which this year will begin in April.

Seeing Eye staff members anonymously nominate volunteers for the prestigious award. One staff member who nominated Carmella called her “the epitome of a volunteer.” Another called her “an amazing angel” who “does it all with happiness, confidence, and pride.”

“This volunteer’s wonderful personality, willingness to help, and ability to work with everyone has been a great benefit to any department they assist,” another wrote. “She is a true pleasure to work with.”

In addition to her on-campus volunteering, Carmella also is a volunteer puppy raiser and is the leader of the Eyes for Hope Puppy Raiser Club of Essex County, New Jersey. She’s currently raising her 47th puppy for The Seeing Eye, a black Labrador/golden retriever cross named Xandra.

The Volunteer of the Year Award isn’t her first recognition from The Seeing Eye: In 2000, Carmella received the 21 Club Award, given to families that have raised 21 puppies, and in 2008, she received the 20 Year Leader Award.

Volunteer Service Awards

One Year of Service

Carolyn Armbruster

Robert Beardon

Leonard Borowski

Carol Bsarany

Kathleen Colbert

Lorraine Dacko

Linda DeLukey

Linda Enright

Jason Faber

Ashley Force

Jeri-Ann Frankel

Debra Goetchius

Christine Hasenbein

Kristen Hellstrom

Jennifer Lee

Susan Liegner

Carol Mateo

Gail McGovern

Michelle Mennella

Thomas Moke

Lori Mills

Mary Peter

Christina Piscitelli

Olivia Poccia

Lynda Santoro

Molly Smith

Kathy Sonner

Debra Sirvidio

Martha Sirvidio

Megan Termyna

Laura Treutlein

Danielle Weiner

Pamela Wilson

James Wynn

Five Years of Service

Marilyn Cianciotta

Marianne Dougher

Holly Duffy

Christine Fritze

Katha Griswold

Susan Humphrey

Wendy Kern

Pamela Mettam

Fala Meyers

Ralph Meyers

Thomas Tapen

Ten Years of Service

Bonnie DiCola

Anita Eigen

Maureen Hopkins

Stephanie Litwin

Kathleen Murray

Carmella Passaro

Lucille Roener

Joel Rosenblatt

Kathleen Uber

Barry Wolfensohn

Fifteen Years of Service

Elinore Bullock

Carol Henry

Twenty Years of Service

David Bailin

Volunteer of the Year

Carmella Passaro

Heads Up!

Eagle Scout Project Teaches Puppies To Look Up

On this page is a photo of a young man wearing hospital scrubs, sitting on the floor with a German shepherd puppy and a black Labrador retriever puppy in his lap. A third puppy, a yellow Labrador, is sniffing at his feet. Next to him is a hollow cube made out of plastic tubes with dog ties attached to it. The caption reads: Andrew Ahn with one of his creations inside the puppy playroom.

How can you teach a dog to worry about store awnings, street signs, tree branches, and other things that are two or three feet over its head – but can pose a problem for her human partner?

At The Seeing Eye, we use a variety of methods to teach our dogs to look up. The secret is to start early! In our puppy playroom, we have toys dangling from the ceiling so our puppies see there’s interesting things above their heads, not just at their feet.

Andrew Ahn, a senior at Millburn High School in New Jersey, wanted to create something that would help puppies learn this important lesson. He built two cubes, about 3 feet on each side, and used zip ties to attach dog toys. The puppies love reaching up to tug at the toys – this activity not only teaches them to look up, but also helps develop their neck muscles.

“When looking for an organization to help, The Seeing Eye seemed like a natural choice,” Andrew said. “The Seeing Eye is an organization centered around helping others and helping the community. You should be willing to step up to help an organization like that.”

Andrew, a member of Boy Scout Troop 15 of Short Hills, was recognized for his efforts on Oct. 25 with the Eagle Award, the Boy Scouts’ highest honor.

And he got a rare opportunity to visit the puppy playroom to install his creations and see them in action!

“I was very fortunate to have this opportunity. It was an incredible experience,” Andrew said. “It was great to see something I built being used. It’s a memory I’m going to treasure for the rest of my life.”

History Channel Award

Morris Frank: Once Again, ‘First In The World’!

This page has an illustration of Morris Frank kneeling next to Buddy, the first Seeing Eye dog.

A website about Morris Frank, pioneer of the guide dog movement and co-founder of The Seeing Eye, was named “First in the World” at the History Channel’s National History Day International Competition this summer. The website can be accessed at

“The Seeing Eye: Leadership and Legacy of Morris Frank” was created by Neha Shakir, an 11-year-old 6th grade student at New Vistas Center for Education in Chandler, Arizona. Neha’s website beat out projects submitted by nearly 3,000 other students the Junior Division (grades six through eight). In her research she visited the school’s archives with the assistance of Bruce Johnson, volunteer archivist at The Seeing Eye.

Neha was given the award, and the designation “NEH Scholar,” by Dr. William Adams, chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities, in a ceremony broadcast on the History Channel.

The website tells the story of Morris Frank, the first person ever to use a Seeing Eye dog. As a boy Morris lost vision in one eye when his horse ran him into a tree branch; he lost sight in the other eye boxing as a teenager. Morris desperately wanted to travel independently and wrote to Dorothy Harrison Eustis, a dog trainer living in Switzerland who had published an article in The Saturday Evening Post about guide dogs she had seen being trained in Germany for blinded veterans of World War I. Many blind people had written to Dorothy asking for guide dogs, but Morris’s letter stood out: He promised that he would found a school in America to train dogs for others who needed them. On January 29, 1929, Morris and Dorothy founded The Seeing Eye, first in Nashville, Tennessee, and now in Morristown, New Jersey.

The theme of this year’s National History Day International Competition was Leadership and Legacy in History. National History Day was founded in 1965 and this year more than 600,000 students participated in local, regional, and state competitions hoping to win a spot at the national finals. Students were encouraged to investigate and document a topic and determine its overall impact on society, and present their findings in a website, paper, film, performance, or exhibit.

Neha is now a student at Arizona College Prep Junior High School.

“We are thankful to the Seeing Eye for their generous hospitality when I came to New Jersey,” Neha said. “Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity.”

Seeing Eye Dogs on a World Tour!

This page has three photos. The first is of a woman hugging a young German shepherd, her big ears standing straight up. The caption reads: Orna Braun, manager of the breeding and puppy development program at Israel Guide Dog Center, with Seeing Eye puppy Connie in Beit Oved, Israel. The second photo is a close-up of an adult golden retriever, sitting next to a large rock. The caption reads: Siri, a golden retriever, is on loan to a guide dog school in France. The third photo is a picture of a man kneeling next to a German shepherd puppy. The caption reads: Noach Braun, co-founder and director of Israel Guide Dog Center, with Seeing Eye puppy Farah.

The Seeing Eye serves men and women from across the United States and Canada. But our dogs travel the world!

Four dogs are on loan to other guide dog schools for their breeding programs: Siri, a male 3½-year-old golden retriever, to CESECAH in France; Avatar, a 2½-year-old male yellow Labrador/golden retriever cross, to Eyemate in Japan; Zappa, a 5-year-old male yellow Labrador retriever, to the Foundation for French-Speaking Guide Dogs in Switzerland; and Eudora, a female German shepherd, to Guide Dogs New Zealand.

And in December, two puppies – Farah and Connie, 6-month-old female German shepherds – were sent to Israel Guide Dog Center in Beit Oved, Israel, to start a new line of German shepherds.

“Schools in other parts of the world want our dogs as breeding prospects to improve the quality of their dogs,” explained Peggy Gibbon, The Seeing Eye’s Director of Canine Development. “They know we have high standards for health and temperament in our breeding dogs. Many of the schools around the world struggle to get good quality dogs to build a breeding program.”

In exchange, The Seeing Eye sometimes accepts dogs or puppies from those schools to increase the genetic diversity in our own breeding program.

“For example, we have a female German shepherd named Frankie that came to us from the United Kingdom,” Peggy said. “Her sire was our stud dog on loan to them, and her mother was a dog from their breeding program. Some of Frankie’s offspring have gone back into our breeding program, increasing the genetic diversity of our German shepherds.”

It’s just another way The Seeing Eye is helping people who are blind achieve greater dignity and independence, no matter where they live.

New Trustee Named; Officers Re-Elected

At its December meeting, The Seeing Eye Board of Trustees welcomed a new Trustee and re-elected its officers.

OhSang Kwon, a private investor who has spent his career in private equity and investment banking, was elected to the board.

“I am really impressed with the entire Seeing Eye organization. I am honored to be involved with this group of such dedicated people who work tirelessly to fulfill a mission in which I have come to support wholeheartedly,” OhSang said. “I look forward to working with my fellow trustees and the senior management team and contributing in whatever way I can.”

OhSang was a founding partner of Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm, which he left in 2014 to invest on his own. Prior to Avista, OhSang spent his career at DLJ Securities Corp. and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.

Peter N. Crnkovich, a Senior Adviser of Morgan Stanley, will once again serve as chairman. Crnkovich was first elected a trustee of the Morristown school in 2003, served as Vice Chairman from 2009 to 2014, when he was elected as Chairman. Also re-elected were: Vice Chair Dr. Margaret E. L. (Peggi) Howard; Vice Chair Thomas Duffy; Secretary Julie Carroll; and Treasurer Robert Hamwee.

News Highlights

That Sounds Amazing!

A Festival of Sound 2 to benefit The Seeing Eye

This story has a black and white photo of Justin Kauflin, shown from behind while seated at a grand piano. He is reaching down with his left hand to pat the head of a black Labrador retriever in harness. The photo caption reads: Justin Kauflin with his Seeing Eye dog, a black Labrador retriever named Candy. Photo courtesy

Seeing Eye graduate Justin Kauflin will join an all-star cast of jazz musicians at A Festival of Sound 2, a concert to benefit The Seeing Eye.

The concert will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Seeing Eye puppy raisers and their puppies will be in attendance!

Justin, the 2012 Jazz Artist of the Year by Veer Magazine, is a pianist and composer whose most recent release, Dedication, was produced by Quincy Jones. Justin was the subject of an award-winning documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On, about his relationship with his mentor, jazz legend Clark Terry.

Justin came to The Seeing Eye in 2009 to be partnered with his first Seeing Eye dog, a black Labrador retriever named Candy.

He will be joined on stage by Rio Clemente, Marty Eigen, Carrie Jackson, Grover Kemble, Gordon Lane, Rob Paparozzi, and Gene Perla.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit The Seeing Eye. Donations in lieu of ticket purchases may be made by sending a check, made out to The Seeing Eye, Inc., to The Seeing Eye, P.O. Box 375, Morristown, NJ 07963-0375, or by calling (800) 539-4425. Please write "Festival of Sound 2" on the memo line of your check.

For more information or to buy tickets, go to

Prepare To Bid!

This story has an image of a gavel and a photo of a yellow Labrador retriever puppy holding an auction paddle in her mouth.

The Seeing Eye will be holding its eighth annual online auction this spring, beginning April 25 and ending May 6. We are currently accepting item donations, such as new (or unique) items, gift baskets, sports tickets, or gift certificates. We also are looking for companies that would like to sponsor the auction.

If you have a new or unique item to donate, or if your company would be interested in sponsoring the auction, please contact Sara Meehan at, call (973) 539-4425 ext 1736. Donations will be accepted through April 4.

Brick By Brick

This story has a photo of two yellow Labrador/golden retriever crosses, one an adult in harness, the other a puppy, sitting on the bricks outside the front entrance to The Seeing Eye. The bricks are engraved with messages from supporters. The adult dog is sitting proudly. The puppy is lying on the bricks with his nose pressed to them, as if he is trying to read the messages!

Are you looking to memorialize a favorite person or dog in your life, or looking for the perfect gift for someone who has everything? Personalizing an engraved paving stone on The Seeing Eye's Path to Independence is a great way to leave a lasting legacy for you or a loved one. A gift of $250 can commemorate a 4-inch by 8-inch brick with room for up to 39 characters; $500 for an 8-inch square brick containing up to 78 characters; and $1,000 or more for a 12-inch square paver with up to 128 characters. Bricks are installed annually in summer. The deadline to order a brick to be installed this summer is April 30. For more information, go to, email, or call (973) 539-4425.

If You Love Us, Then ‘Like Us’!

Keep up with the latest news and puppy pictures by following The Seeing Eye on Facebook. Read all about how we train our dogs and what our amazing graduates are doing. And meet our new “dog journalist,” Mickey, a yellow Labrador retriever!

Mickey loves writing about all aspects of The Seeing Eye program, especially our puppies. Get the latest “Pupdates” from Mickey by looking for the tag #FutureHero!

Join our more than 125,000 followers at


This page has an acknowledgment for our corporate partner, Healthy Vision Association. The logo is a green circle surrounded by two blue half-circles that are almost touching each other. The website for the organization is below the logo:

This page also has an acknowledgment for our corporate partner, Eone Time. There is a large picture of the Eone watch, which has no glass covering the face, and the hours are marked with lines of varying lengths. At the 12 o’clock position is a downward-pointing triangle. The logo reads, is the lower-case letters e o n e and below that the words “Designed For Everyone.” For more information, go to

Back cover

The back cover has a photo of a tiny yellow Labrador/golden retriever cross sitting nicely for his portrait. A card in front of him reads “Aaron.” The caption reads: What’s in a name? Last fiscal year at The Seeing Eye, 505 puppies were born from 76 litters. Each year, every puppy needs a unique name! (We never want two dogs with the same name at the same time.) Every puppy in each litter has a name starting with the same letter, beginning every year with the “A” litter. This year’s first litter was nine yellow Labrador/golden retriever crosses: Aaron, Addie, Alfie, Almond, Anne, Artie, Ashlee, Auburn, and Aurora! Donors of $5,000 or more get to name a puppy. For more information, call (800) 539-4425.

Also on the back page are the logos of the International Guide Dog Foundation, Charity Navigator, and GuideStar.

The Seeing Eye

President & CEO

James A. Kutsch, Jr.



Craig Garretson, Communications Manager

Visit our website:


Phone: 973-539-4425

Fax: 973-539-0922

In Canada:

The Seeing Eye Organization

c/o T8059, STN A

Toronto, Ontario M5W 3W5

Visit our website:

Registered Canadian Charity Number 89100 8690 RR 0001

ISSN 0037-0819

Publication number 488580

The Seeing Eye produces The Guide® magazine in print, audio, electronic, and Braille versions. Copies are available by request. This issue and past issues also are available on our website. Permission to reprint may be obtained by contacting The Seeing Eye.

Seeing Eye® is a registered trademark for guide dogs of The Seeing Eye, Inc., and is its registered service mark for training dogs as guides and instructing visually impaired individuals in their use and care. The Seeing Eye admits and offers students of any race, color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or ancestry all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or ancestry in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school-administered programs.

The Seeing Eye follows the guidelines recommended by the Council of U.S. Dog Guide Schools for the humane care and training of dogs to be guides, and the instruction and graduate services offered to people who are blind or visually impaired.

The Seeing Eye is an accredited member of the International Guide Dog Federation. The mission of The Seeing Eye is to enhance the independence, dignity and self-confidence of people who are blind, through the use of specially trained Seeing Eye dogs.



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