Thursday, January 15, 2009
A Special Newfie For Special Children
Feeding Archie Helps Children
(By Michelle Knight- firstname.lastname@example.org.)
January 15, 2009
"Although many people would agree that he's worth his weight in gold, plans are underway to immortalize Archie — the larger than life therapy dog for abused children—with a bronze statue.
"Archie, a 165 pound, 3 foot tall Newfoundland, is part of the animal-assisted therapy program at Casa Pacifica in Camarillo. He has been featured in newspapers and on local and national TV.
"Ed Hogan, who recently joined Casa Pacifica's board of directors, has commissioned Robert Cunningham to sculpt a bronze statute of Archie surrounded by three children.
Hogan, co-founder of Pleasant Holidays, came up with the idea as a way to raise awareness and money for Casa Pacifica, a crisiscare and treatment facility for abused, neglected and atrisk children from two counties.
"'It's going to be really beautiful', Hogan said of the sculpture, which is expected to be completed by June. It will cost about $50,000, to be paid by the Hogan Family Foundation.
"The 4-foot-tall bronze dog will sport a bib with the words, 'Feed Archie', encouraging donors to drop money into its mouth. The base will read, 'So he can care for his children.' A bag inside the mouth will collect the money, which will be used to support the nonprofit's services.
"Cunningham recently completed a resin model of the sculpture, which he based only on photographs of Archie. After meeting the dog last week, Cunningham said the finished product will better convey the giant dog's gentle nature. Cunningham said he will try to capture that 'certain droop' of Archie's eyes, his sagging jowls and how he sits with his right leg extended. The entire sculpture should be about 56 inches tall, with the bronze Archie about 4 feet tall, a foot taller than the real Archie.
"Hogan said he'll display the sculpture first at Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, which is owned by the Hogan Family Foundation. Then he'll have the 300 pound sculpture transported to various high-traffic sites in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
"Hogan, 81, also recently hired a Seattle artist to design 12 holiday greeting cards featuring Archie. The cards will be sold in box sets and the money used to help support Casa Pacifica. Three cards have been completed so far.
"Hogan has also opened the doors of his foundation's ranch to Casa Pacifica children. Three times a week, the children come to Rancho St. Francis in Thousand Oaks for 90 minutes of horseback riding. Therapeutic and fun, the experience teaches the children discipline and how to love and be loved unconditionally, he said.
"Vicki Murphy, Casa Pacifica's director of development and operations, said she couldn't be more pleased with Hogan's enthusiasm and ideas.
"Casa Pacifica is honored to have someone of his stature join our board of directors', Murphy said. 'He is a gift to the children.'
"The admiration appears to go both ways.
"'The work that's being done will help these children become more productive and happy citizens, and that will happen because of the wonderful, wonderful work Casa Pacifica people do. It's a great organization', Hogan said.
"To volunteer to assist Casa Pacifica children during their visits to Rancho St. Francis, call (805) 495-3036. For more information about Casa Pacifica, a nonprofit provider of children's mental health services in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, visit www.casapacifica.org or call (805) 445-7800."