WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — While many Americans continue to celebrate Independence Day this weekend, one local organization is using an outdoor sport to help troops who paid a big price to keep America free.
Smash Park in West Des Moines and the Puppy Jake Foundation teamed up for a 19-team bags tournament. One hundred percent of the $75 entry fee went directly toward helping the the Puppy Jake Foundation raise service dogs to assist disabled veterans in their everyday life.
“We hope our exposure here and everywhere will raise awareness to the disabilities of our veterans that come home that have served our country, and we hope our dogs can help them enjoy a normal life,” said Robin Lickteig, Puppy Jake Foundation`s director of operations.
Lickteig says it takes two years of training before a dog is ready to be paired with their military owner. While the tournament may have lasted only a day, the proceeds will be far greater than any trophy.
“Makes us feel good. I`ve got family members that have been in the military and it`s good to give back as well,” said Mike Martin, a competitor in the tournament.
“Just donating to the cause while playing bags. Something we love is a good experience for all of us,” said Colin Martin, another competitor.
The Iowa Barnstormers, along with head coach Dixie Wooten, were on hand to participate in a dunk tank that also raised money for the Puppy Jake Foundation.