Sigma Pi: Operation Bow Wow

Sigma Pi at University of San Diego, is starting a fundraiser called Operation Bow Wow





They say that a dog is a man’s best friend. But for Michael Girard, a senior at the University of San Diego, a dog would be much more than that.
The University of San Diego community is supporting Sigma Pi, a fraternity on campus, in their attempt to raise $8,000 for Operation Bow Wow, a project being put on to raise money for a guide dog for Girard.
13 years ago, Girard was struck by a drunk driver in New York. He fought for his life, recovered and eventually regained the ability to communicate and navigate on his own.
However, as a result of the accident, he lost his eyesight and suffered brain trauma.
Girard traveled across the country to sunny San Diego and began attending USD.
Girard has been attending USD for the past three years and has received assistance from the USD community during his time here.
“USD has been extremely helpful,” Girard said.
Although Girard has support from the students at USD, he still faces difficulties every day due to his injuries.
Girard’s injuries from his accident make everyday mobility a difficulty, but there is one thing that could help: a guide dog.
While it may seem like Girard is only a few steps away from reaching his goal of getting a guide dog, there is still one more obstacle that he must overcome.
Being a student with limited income, he is faced with the costs of tuition, the guide dog, as well as medical and everyday expenses that come with having a pet.
For the projected 12 year service life of the dog, an owner should expect to spend about $20,000 to take care of it.
Sigma Pi has made it their goal to help Girard pay for his guide dog. The fraternity has started the fundraiser, Operation Bow Wow.
All donations will be put toward the guide dog expenses such as, medical, dental, food, and insurance costs that are associated with caring for the guide dog.
The fraternity has already found a local veterinarian who offered to provide free medical and dental care for the entire service life of Girard’s guide dog, covering approximately $12,000 of expenses.
That leaves $8,000 for the fraternity to fundraise to cover the everyday expenses of dog ownership.
Operation Bow Wow has already raised more than $1,300 for the cause. So far there are no fundraiser events planned and donations can only be made online or in Olin Hall.
Sean Curran, a senior in Sigma Pi, is happy to see an entire organization coming together to help support a student in need.
“I think it shows how dedicated the USD community is to making a difference in our local community and helping those that are less fortunate,” Curran said. “We are so blessed to be able to go to such a great university and our events and fundraisers, like Operation Bow Wow, are evidence that our student body is dedicated to these causes.”
Every student has the opportunity to help regardless of their involvement on campus. The fundraiser is reaching out past Greek Life, past organizations, and to individual students to help change the life of one student, Mike Girard.
“I hope to be a source of social change after I graduate, and because of the help of the students here at USD, the possibility of getting a guide dog has now become a probability,” Girard said. “In spite of having a challenging life. People around me have helped to make it a remarkable life.”
For some people dogs are more than just a best friend, they are guides for life.