May 9, 2024

Dogtopia Regional Manager Embarks on 101-Mile Run to Raise $60,000 for Training of Service Dogs for Veterans This Memorial Day Weekend

A Minnesota man is embarking on a monumental feat to make a positive impact on veterans during Memorial Day Weekend. Starting at 7 a.m. on Sunday, May 26, Jordan Cerrillo, Regional Manager for Dogtopia in Eau Claire, WI, and Woodbury, MN, will run 101 miles from one daycare to the other to raise $60,000 for the Dogtopia Foundation. The Dogtopia Foundation is on a mission to enable dogs to positively change our world by supporting programs focused on three key pillars: service dogs for veterans, therapy dogs for students and employment initiatives for adults with autism.

Cerrillo’s long-distance run from Dogtopia Eau Claire to Dogtopia Woodbury is dedicated to raising funds to provide service dogs to veterans in need. Cerrillo’s goal of $60,000 will help support the training of 10 life-saving canines. Donations can be made here.

“The Dogtopia Foundation, Dogtopia daycares, and all Dogtopians across the country are proud to support Jordan on his ultra-marathon run, which will provide several veterans in need with a life-saving service dog,” said Neil Gill, CEO and President of Dogtopia. “Jordan’s determination, grit, compassion and mission to make the world a brighter place embody everything we stand for as an organization, and we will be cheering him on the entire way.”

For the final 10 miles of his run, Cerrillo will be joined by retired Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans, a Dogtopia Foundation ambassador whose journey of resilience and recovery serves as the inspiration behind this ambitious fundraiser. After enduring life-threatening injuries in service in Afghanistan, Evans found solace and strength in the companionship of service dogs. Her celebrated story, recognized with the prestigious Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2022 ESPYs, continues to inspire countless individuals to live with purpose and resilience.

“I am fortunate enough to have a pretty amazing ‘why’ that will fuel me for this run,” said Cerrillo. “Hearing Gretchen tell her story at the Dogtopia Conference in 2022 sparked an immense amount of pride to be part of a franchise that helped impact our veterans in an incredible way. I have many family members who have or are currently serving our country, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to honor and give back to veterans that have sacrificed and done so much for us.”

For those interested in cheering on Cerrillo, he will depart from Dogtopia of Eau Claire in Wisconsin at approximately 7 a.m. on Sunday, May 26, and hopes to arrive at Dogtopia of Woodbury in Minnesota around 10 a.m. on Monday, May 27. To make a donation, click  here, and to learn more about the Dogtopia Foundation, visit Dogtopia Foundation.

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