When Jennifer Bridges moved to El Dorado last year, she brought with her a love of craft fairs. Little did she know her love of crafts would some day lead her to a much bigger cause.
Bridges, the organizer of the 4th of July craft fair held a the El Dorado Train Depot, came up with an idea to integrate a fundraiser in with her craft shows. After some investigating, she discovered the story of Wodan, a local police dog.
Wodan, who has been a part of the police department for the last thee years is the canine partner of officer James Marshall. The young Belgium Malinois joined the police force when he was only a year old. Now, at 3, Wodan has continued to prove his worth and is in need of a safety vest. The safety vest, which costs from $800-$1,000 is designed specifically to protect Wodan with bullet-proof, light-weight plates. Without the vest, Wodan charges into dangerous situations without protection, while his partner follows.
“It made me extremely sad,” commented Bridges, “to hear that Wodan had no protection when we went into a dangerous situation. He protects us every day, now it’s time for us to protect him.”
Bridges then set to work and took advantage of her prior knowledge of fundraising to add a silent auction and a drawing to the attractions of the craft fair. She only had a little over a month to plan the fundraiser but was pleased with the generosity of local businesses.
“We ended up with one item for the drawing and 25 other items for the silent auction,” said Bridges. “Even now, I’m getting calls from people asking how the fundraising is going and some are even asking how to continue donating.”
The risk to the officer’s young companion has proven to touch the hearts of the residents. The fundraiser has just recently crossed the $600 mark.
Some of the donors include: Hot and Bothered BBQ, Judy’s Soaps, Jen Greedy, Kimber Cordell, Yoder Fudge, Silpada, several Scentsy consultants, Ten Thousand Villages, Cynthia Sutton, Pollie’s Treats, Big Jim’s Antiques, Unique Craft, Specs, Waggin’ Tails, Walmart, Heads and Toes, and Mitchell Theatre.
Bridges is continuing to take donations until the goal of $800 is met. To donate or for more information, call 316-765-2674.