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Universal Orlando in August

Just returned from a short visit to see our friends at Universal Orlando Resort. It never feels long enough and yet it manages to hold us over until our next visit. My wife sums it up with this:

“Thank you to all of our Universal friends. Every single one of you, thank you.

Thank you for your unwavering acceptance of Faith and our family. Thank you for hugs, so many hugs! Thank you for the pure heart you put into every interaction. Thank you for always taking time for Faith. 

The joy you give during this week is what helps carry Faith until our next visit.  Simply put, we love you and we will never be able to put into words how much you mean to Faith!”


Our friends over in Islands of Adventure

Those meddling kids and their darn dog!

The intrepid Dora and Diego

From down in Bikini Bottom,

Over in New York keeping things fresh with Max and Duke,

Those crazy Minions that keep Gru, Lucy, Margo, Edith and Agnes company,

Marilyn and her Diamond Bellas,

Jazz, Mabel, accompanying Jake and Elwood Blues,

Doc Brown, Lucy, Mummy Guards, and the many others who cross our paths throughout Universal Orlando…


Because Baseball


Learned that our first host kid was playing nearby and had to drop in for a while. I have to say that I am impressed that anyone is out in the heat that is our summer, let alone playing (or working) out in it. Thanks for taking time to talk with us and just being awesome to the kiddo.

Oh, and I was impressed with the homerun on your first at bat – even if said host sister was refusing to cheer for you since you were on the other team.

We had hoped to stay a little longer – especially after learning there were fireworks coming – it was just too hot and we had to head home. Was great to see both of you and we appreciate all you do! Keep up the hard work!


Almost that time again!

Game opening for the Grapefruit League will be February 23, 2019 and the Nationals will be starting out against Houston.

We are looking forward to what the upcoming season holds in store for our team, and all the players we have come to know over the last five years. It has been quite interesting to say the least. Thank you baseball!!


Been a while

Wow! Just got to looking at the page and it certainly has been a while since I have written anything and even longer since I have posted anything up.

Will have to see about correcting that.

I really do have a lot to talk about – I am just not sure how much of it is really something you want to read. Good thing that this is a blog and you can leave if you get bored.

Thanks for sticking around.

In the next few weeks I will start building an entertainment console for our living room since I can’t seem to find one that is what we (mostly me) wants for the room. It will be a “floating” one that is 8 feet long and 2 feet tall with two shelves and a few compartments.

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Your Logo Here

Today’s post is in support of Kids Are Heroes, Inc., a non-profit that empowers, encourages and inspires children to become leaders through volunteerism and community involvement.

They are less than two months away from the 5th annual Kids Are Heroes Day which will be celebrated at the Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, MD on October 27th, 2012.  They are looking for someone to step forward and claim the title of “Official Sponsor

Can you help them find the Official Sponsor.  This is a great opportunity for a local business since the attendees will be in the local area.  There are kids coming from all across the United States, Canda, and Trinidad & Tobago which also makes a national company a good fit for the position.

For more information please see the following post by Gabe O’Neill, President of Kids Are Heroes, Inc. – Your Logo Here.


Service Dog Scam: Where does GlobalGiving.org stand?

GlobalGiving.org awarded Lea Kaydus, founder of Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism “program”, a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant back in July 2011 (must have been a typo on their site) that had 10 families beyond ecstatic.  And then the whole “program” began to deteriorate.  GlobalGiving.org was contacted numerous times, by multiple families, and yet maintained Lea Kaydus would in fact be able to deliver.  The grant period for which GlobalGiving.org was a mere 9 months, with the culmination of the project set for April 2012 when the dogs would be delivered.  As of this date (August 26, 2012) not a single “highly-trained”, autism service dog has been delivered.

Come to think of it, not a single trained, autism service dog has been delivered, nor heck, not even a single dog – trained or otherwise.  GlobalGiving.org gave Lea Kaydus $50,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Program and let her run, accountable to none.  Which well-deserving programs lost out due to the fraud Lea Kaydus perpetrated? GlobalGiving.org’s stance on this has been oddly similar to sticking their head in the sand and hoping that it will all go away.  The Attorney General of Illinois, when presented with the same facts as GlobalGiving.org’s leadership, saw it very differently.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit in Sangamon County Court on Thursday, August 24, 2012.

The following is an excerpt from GlobalGiving.org’s GlobalGoodness Blog

Over the last few months we’ve heard the concerns raised regarding a $50,000 grant awarded to an individual, Lea Kaydus, in July 2010. The project is to provide ten trained dogs to families of autistic children free of charge. Activities funded under this grant include the construction of a new canine training facility and costs associated with the training of the dogs.
We do not take any expression of concern lightly, and we are committed to ensuring that grant activities are implemented as they were intended. We have been thoughtfully evaluating the situation specific to this grant, in addition to overseeing many other projects that are still actively pursuing their goals. As with all Pepsi Refresh Grants, GlobalGiving monitors project activities to ensure compliance with the terms of the grant agreement. We have been in regular contact with the grantee throughout the grant period (including a recent site visit), and she is in compliance with the terms of her grant agreement and is scheduled to deliver the dogs to the requesting families starting in Spring 2012.
We understand that for the families involved, the care of their children is their foremost concern. We stand firm in our commitment to do everything we can to support the grantee to help bring this project to fruition. We have also encouraged the grantee to be in more regular communication with the families going forward, to which she has agreed. We ask everyone involved to please refrain from personal attacks and understand that the grantee is doing all she can to accomplish her goals with this project.

GlobalGiving.org now maintains the position that the grant administration period has ended, that Lea Kaydus met the “spirit” of the grant to the best of her ability and they no longer have any responsibility/concern in regards to this grant awardee.  They provided the funds for a backyard Siberian Husky/Alaskan Klee Kai  breeder to build a new kennel/breeding facility on her brother-in-law’s property to further her own families ability to exploit others.  So many lies and half-truths told to the families who were supposed to be recipients of the “service animals” Lea Kaydus was “training” by Lea Kaydus, and the staff at GlobalGiving.org administering this grant. Her autism service dog scam is beyond despicable.  When you think that she utilized disabled, autistic children and their parents in the process makes it even that much worse.  Imagine if it were your child that was used for this purpose.

I would like to take a moment to highlight two of GlobalGiving.org’s Core Values:

1.  Listen. Act. Learn. Repeat.
We continually experiment. We fail quickly and productively. We use data and feedback to guide our course.

2. Committed to WOW
We act promptly, enthusiastically, and professionally so people are WOW-ed by their interactions with us.

I hope that the last year has provided you with lots of usable feedback.  I have been WOW-ed by my interaction with you, and NOT in a good way.  I am amazed at how quickly you sought to “protect” your own position rather than acknowledge the truth.  The dealings with K.C. Ellis, grant administrator for Lea Kaydus’ grant, gave me the impression that I was merely an annoyance that must be dealt with before the next shopping trip to the District could be planned and executed.  I hope that others are not treated the same way.

I would love to know if you still are proud to have worked with someone the caliber of Lea Kaydus and her Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism program.



Service Dog Fiasco Bites Lea Kaydus

On Thursday the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, filed suit on behalf of several families across the country who were bilked out of thousands of dollars by Glenarm, IL “autism service dog trainer”, Lea Kaydus.

For Immediate Release Media Contact: Maura Possley 

August 23, 2012 312-814-3118 


Follow OAG on: 



Attorney General: Proposed Judgment to Require Downstate Woman to Reimburse Families Waiting for Service Dogs 

Springfield – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit and a proposed consent judgment against a downstate woman who cheated families across the country out of thousands of dollars in payments for service dogs to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Madigan filed her lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court against Glenarm resident Lea Kaydus and her organization, Animals for Autism. The lawsuit alleges that for more than a year, Kaydus solicited donations and payments from families in Illinois and around the country to match them with specially trained dogs to serve as companions for their children. To date, Madigan said, none of the families who paid for the service has received a trained dog as promised by Kaydus. 

Madigan’s lawsuit states that Kaydus’ Animals for Autism advertised it would specially train Alaskan Klee Kai and Siberian Huskies for $3,000 to $8,000 and then pair the dogs with families to assist their children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kaydus promised families that they initially would be introduced to their dog in person or via teleconference calls and then would receive frequent updates until the dogs were trained and ready to be placed in families’ homes. 

Families in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Florida, California and Washington sent payments to Kaydus and were led to believe over the course of several months that Kaydus was training dogs to place in their homes. In some cases, families received pictures of puppies, though those images were taken years earlier and depicted dogs that weren’t involved in Kaydus’ supposed training program. One family received a photo of a puppy that was purportedly born in 2011, though Madigan’s investigation revealed the picture was actually taken in 2007. 

Madigan said Kaydus has collected at least $5,190 from families in the scheme. The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and Solicitation for Charity Act against Kaydus and her organization. The proposed consent judgment filed with Madigan’s lawsuit would require that Kaydus provide restitution to affected families. 

Assistant Attorney General Melodi Green handled this case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau. 

A copy of the suit filed can be found by clicking HERE if you are interested in reading it.  To make a quick summary: the suit, filed in Sangamon County Court, alleges “numerous violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and Solicitation for Charity Act” against Lea Kaydus and her organization, Animals for Autism [a part of Siberian Snow Babies].  At this time Kaydus has agreed to a consent judgement requiring her to reimburse the families.  However, the settlement must still be approved by the Sangamon County judge, who could still impose additional sanctions including stiff penalties of up to $50,000 per violation.

Since the initial press release issued by the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, there have been multiple news outlets which have carried this story.  The story was initially carried as an exclusive update by WICS NewsChannel 20 Springfield, Illinois by Mike Brooks.  It has since been featured in the Chicago Tribune in an article by Monica Eng, and in the Kitsap Sun in an article by Chris Henry.  There have been several other blog posts written –

A win I suppose.  I hope that she is not able to ever do this to anyone ever again.  Wishful thinking?? Possibly.

Please share.  Your voice can make a difference.

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It has been a while since my last post on this subject.  I have been waiting, albeit somewhat impatiently, but waiting for some resolution of this debacle.

**If you are unfamiliar with this story I would ask that you visit Dogs with a Cause for a quick recap**

We are now beyond the anticipated delivery date for the Autism Service Dogs that Lea Kaydus had promised to over 10 families back in June of 2011.  These dogs, their training, and accessories were being funded through a combination of private donations secured by Lea Kaydus, as founder of the Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism program, and a very generous $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Project.  The administrators of the Pepsi grant, GlobalGiving.org, assured families that the dogs would in fact be delivered as promised despite any temporary setbacks.

Still not a single service dog delivered.

GlobalGiving.org has removed themselves from the picture since the project has proceeded beyond the 9 month monitoring window.  They no longer have any interest in Lea Kaydus or these Autism Service Dogs she had promised to deliver.  It is not their problem.  I wish I had known it was that easy to get $50,000 from Pepsi.  I bet I could have come up with a fantastic project that would have pulled at the heartstrings of many people.  I could have worked with a local distributer, local recycling company to acquire Pepsi bottlecaps with Power Vote codes.  Maybe I could have offered to place free highly-trained Autism Service Dogs with a group of young, autistic children…wait, that has been done.  Then again, it worked.

Lea Kaydus, her husband, George, and both their enterprises (Siberian Snow Babies & Animals for Autism of Illinois) have been reported to the Better Business Bureau, the Illinois Attorney General and all of the Autism Service Referral places that I have found her registered.  I have come to accept that I will not ever get an apology from Lea Kaydus let alone any of the money that I paid her expecting a trained autism service dog in return.  Neither will any of the other families.  Hard lesson learned.

I hope that the Illinois Attorney General is not just going to let this be.  I hope there will be some repercussion for her actions.  At a minimum she defrauded 11 families throughout the United States.  I believe that her marks included families outside the United States to include Australia, New Zealand, and England.  She preyed on the hopes and dreams of families who did not have extra to lose.  Wish I had better news.  Do not intend to ever let this go, even once I move on.


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Run Down: Health Matters

Not really sure what it was that got me. Over the last couple of days I have felt my energy lagging and those little aches and pains have been just that much more insufferable. I know there are those who would say that it is merely Father Time catching up to me – I refuse to believe that.  I think that there is a way through a healthy lifestyle that I can slow the progression and get myself back on track.

Here’s to a road back to good health.  In the meantime – just keep swimming, because that’s what I will be doing now that I can’t really run.

More to follow. Please stay tuned.

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