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Letter: Help raise funds to provide a service dog for Raymond Ratto

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:00 am

We want to thank the Downtown Lodi Farmers Market for opening spaces up to nonprofit organizations such as 4 Paws for Ability. 4 Paws for Ability was established in 1998, and last year they provided 100 service dogs for children with autism. The service dog is trained to work with the children and their special needs.

Raymond Ratto is one of these children. His dog will be trained to work with him and his special needs, and is even able to predict when a situation is beginning to alarm him. When we read about 4 Paws for Ability and saw all it could do for children with autism, it seemed the answer to our prayers.

This is an ambitious undertaking, since we need to raise $12,000 to help in the dog training, so we are reaching out to our community. No gift is too small. Donating money in the name of Raymond Ratto is as easy as going to his Facebook page “4paws4raymond” and clicking on the donate button. Even if you cannot contribute at this time, come to the booth, see T-shirts and learn about autism and the service dog program.

We also want to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have already provided support. The early intervention through the LUSD special classes for autistic children began at age 3 and preschool. We want to thank the staff at Larsen school and his teacher Ms. Ramirez — where he is now a sixth-grader in her special class — for all they do for Raymond.

We also want to thank Gary’s Signs of Lodi for helping create the T-shirts and Olive Garden in Stockton for providing some discount certificates. Thank you, Rick’s Pizza in Lakewood Mall, which is providing an upcoming “Family Pizza Night” on Sept. 10 when they will donate 25 percent of all sales (accompanied with the flier) to 4 Paws for Ability for Raymond.

Find us on Facebook and check out our progress.

Thank you for taking time to read this story of Raymond and our quest for his service dog.

Margie Lawson

Lodi

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