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CMM celebrates ten years of support for Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs

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Photos courtesy
From left: Award winner Mary Lamparter stands with Guardian Angels founder and CEO Carol Borden and her husband Chris Borden at a previous CMM event.

Lamparter launched Celebrate Michigan's Military a decade ago and will be honored on June 6 for her commitment to the event's benefactor, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.

The 10th annual Celebrate Michigan's Military event, which honors the state's military members while raising funds for Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at Andiamo Banquets & Catering, 7096 E. 14 Mile, Warren.

Over the past nine years, CMM has raised over $1 million to support Guardian Angels, an organization that places highly trained service dogs with veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, seizures, mobility issues, and other disorders.

Thanks to the generosity of the donors, the dogs can be mated free of charge to the recipients.

The benefits of the program are priceless. Since its inception, Guardian Angels has had a zero percent suicide rate among recipients and a less than three percent divorce rate among recipients, compared to 47 percent nationwide.

“This event is not just a celebration, it is a mission to change lives,” said Carol Borden, founder and CEO of Guardian Angels, “and we are humbled by the support we receive each year and reinforce our commitment to continue to tirelessly support our nation's heroes.”

The evening's program includes a cocktail reception, dinner, a raffle, live music from the Detroit Arsenal Choir Trio, and veterans and their service dogs sharing the impact their dogs have had on their lives.

The event also includes live and still auctions with several notable items, including two VIP passes to the final round of the 2025 PGA Championship on Sunday, two tickets to a Detroit Lions game, a red, white and blue necklace and bracelet with Swarovski crystals by Sabika Jewelry, and a pet portrait by artist David Fraser.

In addition, the Guardian Angels will honor Grosse Pointe Farms resident and CMM founder Mary Lamparter.

“We sincerely appreciate Mary's unwavering dedication to our organization and her invaluable contribution to the success of this extraordinary event,” said Borden. “Her tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed and we are incredibly grateful for her hard work.”

“How can you not want to support the veterans who have been through what they have been through, serving our country and then coming back and needing our help to be wonderful members of society again?” Lamparter said of her involvement with CMM and the military. “These service dogs provide them with an opportunity to give back, be a viable part of the community and alleviate some of the stresses they face when they return.”

Lamparter learned about Guardian Angels when a team visited Michigan. She said the program immediately resonated with her and, in turn, sparked support in the community.

“Over the past nine years, I have been humbled by the tremendous support of our local community, including our defense and military organizations,” she said. “Starting Celebrate Michigan's Military has been extremely rewarding, and I am honored to represent the Guardian Angels and further their commitment to our nation's heroes.”

Lamparter said she will cherish the relationships she has built with the recipients over the years.

“They are the ones who make it all worthwhile,” she said. “Carol and MJ (COO/CFO Mary Jo Brandt) have been wonderful to work with all these years. They are both very supportive of my endeavors and have always been there to give me any help I have needed. Guardian Angels has always supported me.”

Lamparter also thanked the community groups and individuals who have supported Guardian Angels during her tenure. Those groups include the Grosse Pointe Board of Realtors, the War Memorial and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. Individuals who have fully sponsored at least one dog include Heather and Stan Dickson, Patty and Jim Anderson, Alyssa Mertz and Ted and Mary Stahl.

The Stahls, who have sponsored five dogs over the years, will be honored as CMM's 2024 Donor of the Year.

“I want to see this continue here in Michigan,” Lamparter said. “CMM has done a good job of raising awareness about guardian angels in this area, and it's important to continue what we've been able to accomplish here.”

Lamparter has recruited Melissa Werner to fill her position, although she plans to continue supporting Guardian Angels in some capacity. As the wife of a retired general, Werner also cares deeply about the mission of CMM and Guardian Angels.

“This is my fourth year participating, and they just keep getting better,” Werner said. “I'm excited to celebrate not only our military and this great organization, but all the wonderful work Mary Lamparter has done for Guardian Angels and our community over the past decade.”

Guardian Angels begins training service dogs at its Florida facility when puppies are just a few weeks old.

“I was a soldier's wife for over 25 years and have served multiple deployments as a soldier's wife,” she continued. “I have seen firsthand the impact of war on soldiers and their families. I have always wanted to be a part of something that has a meaningful impact on those who have served. And while I have participated in many important programs over my years, there has been none quite like this one. Guardian Angels shows me that it has a meaningful and positive impact on our soldiers, veterans, first responders and their families, and I am honored to be a part of this great organization.”

Guests are asked to wear semi-formal attire with a touch of patriotic flair in red, white and blue. Those who cannot attend but still want to make a difference can donate to the event to help reach the $300,000 fundraising goal.

For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets or make a donation, visit medicalservicedogs.org/event/.

For more information on how to become a sponsor, contact Linda Jo Thornberg at [email protected].

“Everyone should come and be a part of CMM this year to support this national nonprofit dedicated to raising, training and donating medical service dogs to those who need them most,” Werner said. “Together we can unleash the power of hope, healing and giving.”