Association of the United States Army

Arsenal of Democracy Chapter


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Bark-E-Que fundraiser for veteran’s service dogs

11 August 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The third annual Bark-E-Que fundraiser for veteran’s service dogs is this Friday, Aug 11, 2017, at the Barrister Gardens, St. Clair Shores, MI.  The family friendly and fun time Bark-E-Que begins at 5 PM with a Yappy Hour followed by dinner with music.


Over 40 silent auction and raffle items will be available, plus we will have a drawing to select the name of a service dog that will start training within a few weeks.

.Deb Robinson, a Gold Star Mother whose son committed suicide following several deployments, will speak on the importance of service dogs.


Stiggy’s Dogs will have “deployed” dogs and their veterans on site and will talk about the service dog’s impact on vets experiencing extreme trauma.


Proceeds go to the SE MI based 501 (c) 3, Stiggy’s Dogs, for the second year in a row.  The fundraiser tickets are $10.00 for children under 12, $35.00 for adults prior to the event and $50.00 at the door. Purchase online at or call 248-268-3167 (M-F8-4:30).


Six-month-old (+/-) candidate dogs enter the program by attending 12 weeks of “doggy boot camp” training administered by inmates at the Thumb Correctional Institute.  Those that subsequently pass the Canine Good Citizen ® Certification test are then paired with their veteran-handler for approximately 300 hours of service dog training.  Since each veteran has unique qualities and needs, each dog undergoes appropriate training.  After meeting all requirements, the canine graduates, becoming a Service Dog.  The lifetime benefit for local training:  Stiggy’s conducts annual recertification training and testing.


Stiggy’s Dogs was founded by Jennifer Petre in memory of her nephew, HM3 Benjamin Phillip (“Doc Stiggy”) Castiglione.  Doc Stiggy dedicated his life to preserving and improving the physical and emotional health of those serving in his unit, and all who serve. He gave his life working as a Corpsman in Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan, taking care of “his Marines” on September 3rd, 2009. HM3 Benjamin “Doc Stiggy” Castiglione, was respected by his Marines and known for his determination and professionalism mixed with a sharp wit.


This event hosted by Advanced-Cable, LLC, Karen Straffon, CSM (Ret) Charlie Randazzo, and many more Arsenal of Democracy Chapter members.

POC:  COL (Ret) Nick Straffon


Kids will be busy with games, a face painter, and a magician, plus each child receives a stuffed Stiggy’s Service Dog.  Additional stuffed dogs will be available for sale. 

The “Velcro” on the stuffed dog vests is from the uniforms of SGT Joe Lilly who was killed in Afghanistan on June 14, 2012.  His parents are attending.









11 August 2017
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Nick Straffon


Barrister Gardens Banquet Center
24225 Harper Avenue, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48080 United States
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