Lori Bowen named 2019 Volunteer of the Year

Lori Bowen received FSD’s 2019 Werner Kaplan Volunteer of the Year Award at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Night on Nov. 13. For the past seven years, Lori has taken on virtually every volunteer position at FSD, from helping in the kennels, walking dogs, and fostering dogs, to assisting with dog training, doing community outreach, teaching volunteer handlers’ classes, and joining our Volunteer Leadership Committee. Did we mention that she and her husband have also adopted an FSD career-change dog named Luca who has become a registered therapy dog?

Lori says receiving the award was a complete surprise, and true to her thoughtful nature, she requested that all the 2019 nominees be recognized in this article. “I feel honored to be amongst the group of this year’s nominees and know that there are so many deserving and committed FSD volunteers,” says Lori.

“FSD is near and dear to my heart,” she adds. “Over the past seven years, I have learned so much, worked alongside amazing people (staff and volunteers), made some lifelong friends, and hugged, played with, fostered, trained, and loved many incredible dogs. Volunteering at FSD fulfills my passions of working with animals and helping people. I have to say thanks to my husband, Ben, for sharing me with FSD. I have spent a lot of time there over the past seven years and, yes, I’ve had a lot of ‘boyfriends’— all dogs, but these dogs have taken pieces of my heart. So, thank you, Freedom, for honoring me with this award and for giving me all that you have over the past seven years.”

Congratulations, Lori, and a sincere thank you from the dogs and people of FSD for everything you do!

The 2019 Volunteer of the Year nominees were Sharon Benn, Lori Bowen, Helen Cassella, Alex Holcomb, Cathy Kennedy, Justin Salmon, Christina Turissini, and Cheryl and Tim Whitecotton. Congratulations to all these deserving nominees, and thank you for your dedication and hard work!

Learn about volunteer opportunities at Freedom Service Dogs. 

Contact Erin Conley at econley@freedomservicedogs.org for all media inquiries.