Supporting K-9s in Communities Across the Country

August 6, 2020 – The Hometown Foundation believes all training starts with the best equipment and resources. That is why we have made it our mission to support as many departments and K-9 Units with the proper equipment so they can train to the best of their ability. Most recently, we donated a customized Demanet Bite Suit to the University of Rhode Island Police Department’s K-9 Unit. The URI Police K-9 Unit consists of two Labrador Retrievers and one German Shepherd.

The URI Police Department has 30 sworn officers who have full police powers and are certified through the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy. The URI police are responsible for 5 URI Campuses throughout the state. The K-9 Units are also ATF NORT (National Odor Recognition Test) certified as well as NAPWDA (North American Police Work Dog Association) certified.

This donation was made possible due to the support of Adam’s Hometown Markets and Key Bank with their participation in our Police K-9 Awareness Campaign. Training is a vital component of K-9 Police work that is not publicly funded yet it is critical to the K-9 Unit’s success. Our campaign aims to equip departments with Police K-9s as well as necessary training equipment and opportunities. Our goal is to educate the public about the importance of Police K-9 Units within the community and creating a safer tomorrow.

The relationship between The Hometown Foundation and URI Police Department was created due to our annual Dream Ride Police K-9 Expo and Competition, which the URI PD attends. This Expo and Competition allows K-9 Units from all over the country to converge in one area to learn and share expertise while simultaneously earning 8 hours of required, certified training. We look forward to this continued relationship with the URI Police Department and wish them further success!

Hometown Foundation, Inc. Makes Donation to East Windsor’s Newest Police K-9 Unit

May 18, 2020 – The Hometown Foundation, Inc., in conjunction with Big Y World Class Market and Geissler’s Supermarkets, made a K-9 equipment donation earlier this month to the East Windsor Police K-9 Unit. Officer Mitchell and K-9 Mylo received a Garmin Alpha 100/TT15 Track and Train System, training bite sleeve, and a K-9 bag full of leads, tugs, balls, and more.

This donation was made possible due to the community support from Big Y and Geissler’s Supermarket. Officer Mitchell and K-9 Mylo graduated from the CT K-9 Academy on February 12, 2020 and started their first day of patrol together on February 13, 2020. K-9 Mylo is 2 years old and trained as a dual-purpose K-9. The Unit will be patrolling the five villages within East Windsor. Having a K-9 Unit is an essential tool to have to apprehend suspects, detect drugs and explosives, locate missing people, and even help find crime scene evidence.

Police K-9s have proven to fill an important role in our police force’s work to build community relations as well as to deter and combat illegal activity. Funds raised through our Police K-9 Awareness Program are used to purchase the K-9 as well as sustain the longevity of the program with fully funded training and equipment. We wish the best of luck to Officer Mitchell and K-9 Mylo in their future endeavors!

If you would like more information on how to get involved with our Police K-9 Awareness Program, please contact Caylee Richardson at 203-250-5660 or crichardson@bozzutos.com.

 

K-9 Donations from East Coast to West Coast

May 18, 2020 – In conjunction with Bozzuto’s Inc. associates, The Hometown Foundation, Inc., was able to make a dual donation of Garmin K-9 equipment to New Mexico Police Departments. A Garmin Alpha 100/TT15 Track and Train System was donated to Deputy Luke Osborn and K-9 Maverick of the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office and a Garmin Fenix 6X Series G.P.S. Watch was donated to Officer Isaac Giannini and K-9 Chico of the Rio Rancho Police Department. K-9 Chico and K-9 Maverick were both donated to their respective departments as part of The Foundation’s Police K-9 Awareness Program. They are both dual purpose K-9s who patrol over 3,700 square miles of valleys, ridges, lakes, and deserts which makes this equipment imperative to their safety.

The Alpha 100/TT15 is a crucial component to the K-9’s safety because it tracks the distance, speed, and direction of the K-9. It has Geo-Fence alerts, e-collar training, and has the ability to track the dog up to 9 miles, while providing their exact location every 2.5 seconds. Working throughout the vast surface area of New Mexico, this is a life-saving tool to have. The Garmin G.P.S. Watch connects to the K-9’s collar so the K-9 Handler has an easily accessible way to view the K-9’s location. The watch has turn-by-turn navigation, expedition mode, topographical maps, multi-GNSS support and so much more to aid in the work and safety of the K-9 Unit.

These funds were raised by Bozzuto’s associates who showed their support by participating in our Blue Jeans for Blue Paws Program. This program, hosted by The Hometown Foundation, allows associates of a business to dress down in blue jeans for one day each week for one month by making a small donation. If you would like to host a Blue Jeans for Blue Paws Program at your place of business please contact Caylee Richardson at crichardson@bozzutos.com.

Hometown Heroes: From our Home to the Hearts of our Troops

May 1, 2020 – The Hometown Foundation, Inc. is spreading hope from our community to our soldiers overseas. In conjunction with Big Y World Class Market, IGA Independent Retailers, and the Portland Sea Dogs we were able to send over 40 boxes of supplies filled with beef jerky, gum, snacks, soap, body wash, books, baseballs, baseball bats, socks, and so much more to the military units. These supplies were collected in the past couple of months and the shipment arrived this past week.

The supplies were delivered to the Ammunition Specialist Unit and were then dispersed throughout the troops. PFC Erika Barolli joined this Unit in the military in 2018 and was a former employee of Bozzuto’s Inc. in the Fleet Maintenance Department. Bozzuto’s, Inc. is a family run business and believes in giving back to those in our community and abroad. The Hometown Foundation aligns with this mission and reaches out with open arms and giving hands when called upon.

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. appreciates those who support and protect our freedom. It is no easy feat being thousands of miles away from home so giving the soldiers a sense of comfort is the least we can do. The donation was made possible thanks to our family of retailers and community partners. Thank you to our Hometown Heroes who constantly fight on the front lines and defend our country. No amount of gratitude will ever equal the sacrifice you make but we will continue to support you every single day.

If you would like more information and how to be a part of our military initiative please email us at info@hometownfoundation.org.

COVID-19 Relief

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. has created a comprehensive, multifaceted campaign to raise funds for COVID-19 Relief. 

 

Funds raised through this initiative will be used to purchase hand sanitizer, cleaning products and food supplies to try and help keep our essential emergency response personnel and medical professionals safe on the front line of this pandemic.

 

Utilizing our network to acquire these much-needed items, it is our goal to expedite delivery of all necessary supply donations to hospitals and first response organizations most immediately effected by COVID-19. 

 

Ways to donate:
 

‘Round Up’ your change when checking out at your local Adams Hometown Market

or

Text
HTFCOVIDRelief to 41444 and chose a donation amount

 

Please support The Hometown Foundation, Inc. in our efforts to assist those working around the clock to fight COVID-19.

 

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization committed to supporting those in need in conjunction with Bozzuto’s, Inc., its family of retailers and community business partners. The Hometown Foundation was established in 2002. The Hometown Foundation, Inc. raises money to support a broad range of programs that meet community needs. The Foundation’s focus and commitment center around five key program areas: animal welfare, emergency response personnel, individuals with intellectual disabilities or in need, major illness and the military.

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. recognizes the month of February as Police K-9 Awareness Month.

January 24, 2020 – The Hometown Foundation, Inc. recognizes the month of February as Police K-9 Awareness Month. During this month, the Foundation raises funds to donate Police K-9s, support training, and purchase essential equipment such as Garmin G.P.S collars and watches, K-9 Cooling vests, Police Cruiser heat alarms, bite suits, and more. Police K-9s apprehend suspects, detect drugs and explosives, locate missing people, and find crime scene evidence. Despite the essential role that Police K-9s offer law enforcement agencies, in many states and municipalities these programs are not funded by their local governments, which means they rely heavily on private donations.

The programs we implement to reach our goals are Blue Jeans for Blue Paws, restaurant fundraisers, and our Hang Tag and Reusable Bag Program, which are incorporated into our IGA and Retailer stores. The Hometown Foundation also utilizes the donation box program, which requires the support from local businesses and restaurants to place donation boxes in their facilities or check out areas to collect donations.

Throughout the year, we also host K-9 focused events within the community to rally the citizens to raise awareness of their local Police K-9 Units and to shed light on the assistance that they need. The Hometown Foundation works closely with local and state police departments to understand what they need and how to equip their personnel properly.

You can get involved by hosting a dress down day at your office, hosting a fundraiser at your local restaurant, or donating to The Hometown Foundation, Inc. For more information on how to support your Police K-9 Units, please contact Caylee Richardson at crichardson@bozzutos.com or 203-250-5660.

Hometown Foundation, Inc. Steps Up for the North East’s Largest Turkey Drive

September 18, 2019 – The Hometown Foundation, Inc., and @sparky18888 are pleased to announce that they have secured 10,000 turkeys for those in need across Hartford, New Haven, and the Greater New York City area. Through connections in our local communities and partnership with PCNY, turkeys will be distributed in Connecticut on Saturday November 23th and in Greater New York City area on Sunday the 24th.

In 2018, the Foundation donated 5,000 turkeys to families in need during the holiday season to ensure they had a wonderful Thanksgiving, regardless of their circumstances. Turkeys were distributed to the Bronx, Yonkers, Harlem, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia.

For 2019 we are continuing to raise the bar on this initiative and it’s quickly becoming one of the largest holiday initiatives across the country.

“Very few foundations globally can take on such an undertaking and deliver that quantity of turkeys in an efficient and effective manor, the event is truly top notch” said Chris Sferruzzo Executive Vice President of Finance at Bozzuto Inc.

We want to thank our sponsors and community partners for supporting those in need during the holiday season. This all was made possible by @sparky18888, Bozzutos INC., Marcum Accounting, Turnpike Motors, and All State Fire Equipment.

For more information or to get involved- mdoyle@bozzutos.com

Hometown Foundation, Inc. Steps Up to Help Hurricane Dorian Victims

September 11, 2019 — Hurricane Dorian has left its mark on the Bahamas, but the Hometown Foundation, Inc. is working quickly to assist those in need who have suffered a tremendous loss. The Hometown Foundation, Inc. is raising funds to provide direct relief and assistance the areas that have been destroyed.

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. has teamed up with Cheney Brothers, Operation 300 and Rescue Life to raise funds and get the much needed supplies as quickly as possible. We have already sent over 4 truckloads of food and supplies to victims and are donating seven solar powered generators and solar panels to provide necessary electricity. As part of the Dream Ride 365 movement, we have seen so many amazing things happen when our Dream Ride Family comes together. We feel the need now more than ever to lean on our community and ask for help.

You can help today by texting the keyword BahamasRelief to 41444 to donate. You can also donate online at hometownfoundation.org. We thank you in advance for your continued support in this initiative.

 

Plainfield Police Welcome New 4-Legged Officer

Plainfield Police Officer Ryan Barile poses with the department’s new police dog named Warin.
[John Shishmanian/ NorwichBulletin.com]

PLAINFIELD — Inside Plainfield police headquarters on Friday, the department’s newest officer was laser-focused on a spiky, yellow ball.

When the ball was launched by Officer Ryan Barile, Warin, a 2-year-old, 72-pound German shepherd with a black muzzle, chocolate-and-tan fur and a brushy tail, lunged after the toy before settling at his handler’s feet.

“Warin definitely loves his ball and when he sees that, he’s ready to roll,” Barile, a two-year veteran of the department said, stroking his partner’s coat. “I can say I definitely would not have expected to have a dog this early in my career, but it’s going to be a great challenge and I’m looking forward to embracing every minute of it.”

Barile, 24, said Warin — the name means “protector” or “defender” in German, is on track to become the force’s newest patrol canine, a job that fits the animal’s pedigree to a T.

“His dad is with the New York City Police Department’s emergency services unit and the minute I saw video of Warin, I knew he was the right dog,” Barile said.

Once Barile was given the go-ahead a few months back to begin searching for a new patrol dog, he hit the ground running. He hooked up with the Hometown Foundation Inc. group out of Cheshire that allowed the officer to select Warin from a breeder and covered the cost.

“This foundation has gone above and beyond and is continuing to donate items including a GPS collar, bite sleeves and other specialized equipment,” Barile said. “Plainfield, like most police departments in the country, doesn’t have a specific K9 budget and strictly rely on their communities and private donations and grants to operate a successful program.”

And the community has stepped up with local banks, individual donators and community groups pledging help to cover the costs of supplies, protective gear and other items.

Warin, once he completes a 16-week state police K9 training class in the fall, will be the department’s second working police dog. But unlike Vail, the department’s narcotics police dog, Warin will be trained to handle patrol-related issues, Chief Michael Surprenant said.

“That kind of work includes tracking suspects and missing persons, from children that wandered from home to elderly folks with Alzheimer’s,” he said. “In addition, Warin will be trained to protect his handler and other officers and hunt down evidence.”

Warin’s reward-based centers around that yellow ball, while drug-sniffing police dogs work on a food-incentive system.

Dog such as Warin can easily cost a department upwards of $8,000 — too dear a price for town and department that struggled through a thorny budget cycle this year.

“We know your budget seasons are going to be tight, so we’re always on the lookout for organizations that can support us,” Surprenant said. “And Barile is an eager young officer who reached out and got us this dog.”

Barile, who grew up around dogs, said Warin quickly warmed to his new surroundings.

“He’s been great at the department, socializing with everyone as if he’s known them his entire life,” he said. “He’s a friendly dog and, as the department’s community resource officer, I expect we’ll be out at parades and in schools. I did have to transition him off his old raw meat diet to kibble — that much meat is pretty expensive.”

By John Penney

Plainfield Key Bank K-9 Press Release

 

In March of 2019, The Hometown Foundation, Inc. received a request from Plainfield CT Police Department for assistance in continuing their Police K-9 program after the recent unexpected retirement of its German Shepherd K-9. The Plainfield Police Department previously used its K-9 to detect narcotics, locate missing persons, search vehicles, and apprehend criminals in their small town of 16,000 residents. The quickest way to find a lost person or suspect in a town with this much wooded area, is by using a Police K-9.  In order to keep the community safe and continue their efforts, The Hometown Foundation, Inc., in conjunction with Key Bank, donated a fully equipped Police K-9 to the Plainfield Police Department. 

The Police K-9 was donated in early June 2019 to Officer Ryan Barile who will be the new Police K-9 Handler for their department. This donation would not have been possible without the generous support of our Police K-9 Program by Key Bank. Because of their contribution dollars through the Neighborhood Assistance Act, we were able to donate a K-9, leads, and tug toys on the day K-9 Warren was picked up. 

The K-9 Handler and the K-9 Officer will also receive a Garmin Watch, a Garmin GPS collar with Huntview Maps, and other equipment that will be purchased and donated to the department. The well-being of the Handler and K-9 are our top priorities and thanks to Key Bank we are able to ensure their safety and make sure they are fully equipped and ready for the job. Chris Sferruzzo of The Hometown Foundation, Inc. states “Given how rural the area is and how much tracking the K-9s do, it is imperative that the location of the handler and K-9 is known at all times. It is also important to know their previous locations so they can keep track of where they’ve been.” Thankfully, the Garmin equipment we provide them will make this possible and is one of the ways we keep everyone safe.  

Training is a vital component of K-9 Police work that is not publicly funded. Proper and extensive training is expensive yet critical to the K-9 Unit’s success. To combat the expense, we work with the departments to raise money through local fundraisers and initiatives. The support of the community is so important during this process because the expenses of a K-9 Unit never cease throughout the year. Although we jumpstart the donation process, funding within the community is needed year round to support the on-going costs of training, equipment, and other expenditures. We are grateful for Key Bank supporting our K-9 program and helping us get this pivotal process started for Plainfield CT Police Department. 

The town of Plainfield, Connecticut might be small but they sure have a big heart. Dedication and determination isn’t something their town is lacking. They are a community that comes together in a time of need and are excited to begin on this journey with the Police Department. The residents and the town support the police’s decision to continue the program. Although the K-9 will be operating as a fully functional officer, he will also be present at school pep rallies, fundraisers, and other functions so he becomes a friendly and familiar face within the community. The K-9 will soon be known all around town and be trained in tracking missing persons, obedience, suspect apprehension, and handler protection. Plainfield is very excited to work with K-9 Warren and make him a part of the team. We encourage residents and business owners to help them with any financial assistance possible since the program is vastly funded by private donations.