Local off-road group hosts fundraiser Saturday for diabetic boy, alert dog

Friday, August 24, 2012

EUREKA SPRINGS -- A fundraiser for Caleb G. will be held at Wheelin' World Off Road Park in Eureka Springs on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Caleb was diagnosed in 2011 with Type 1 Diabetes and is in dire need of a diabetic alert dog. The trained alert dog would remain by Caleb's side every day and constantly sniff him to detect his blood sugar. The dogs are said to be able to detect a decrease in blood sugar 45 minutes faster than a glucose meter.

The dog could potentially save his life if his blood sugar were to drop; the dog is especially needed at night because Caleb's blood sugar could drop dangerously low and he could slip into a coma and no one would know until it was too late, his caretakers said. This is the type of situation where a diabetic alert dog can become a lifesaver.

If the dog senses that Caleb's blood sugar is too low, he will try to alert Caleb, and if he cannot be awakened, the dog would attempt to his alert his parents. In a worst-case scenario, the dog could push a button and call 911 to have emergency responders on the scene in minutes.

These types of life-saving animals do come at a hefty cost -- a price tag of $25,000. The family has raised some money, but not enough to purchase the dog. To begin training for an alert dog the family would need to raise $1,000. Caleb understands the necessity of an alert dog and has raised $87 on his own from sales at his lemonade stand.

The Diabetic Alert Dog for Caleb G. Fundraiser on Saturday will begin with a poker run at 10 a.m. There will also be two off-road obstacle course competitions from 1 to 3 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.; the entry fee for these events is $1. There will be a $5 fee for spectators who want to watch the competitions.

At 4:30 p.m. a four-wheel parade will fill downtown Eureka Springs with off-roaders cruising for a cause -- the route will be announced on Saturday after the last competition. At 6 p.m. a raffle, silent auction and bake sale event will take place. Businesses from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma have all donated items for the raffle. Saturday's fundraiser will conclude with a chicken dinner at 7 p.m. for $5.50. All proceeds will be awarded the day of the event to Caleb and his parents.

"A family member of Caleb's family is in an organization called the FourPlay Off-Roaders, they're a group that comes to Wheelin' World Off Road Park," said owner Dale Backs. "Since we all heard about his need, we have been working on a fundraiser to provide him with a dog,"

For more information about Saturday's events call 479-253-5509 or to make a donation visit www.guardianangelservicedog.org.

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