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updated: 3/31/2014 4:50 AM

Fundraiser helps match vets with rescued pit bulls

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  • Lynn Hoyer of Crystal Lake helps her daughter, Ellie, 3, bowl Sunday during the "Pits For Patriots Stars and Strikes Fundraiser" at Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates. The event featured bowling, raffles and silent auctions and a bake sale to raise money to rescue pit bulls and train them for service work.

       Lynn Hoyer of Crystal Lake helps her daughter, Ellie, 3, bowl Sunday during the "Pits For Patriots Stars and Strikes Fundraiser" at Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates. The event featured bowling, raffles and silent auctions and a bake sale to raise money to rescue pit bulls and train them for service work.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Greg Yearwood of Bensenville receives a kiss from Mira, a rescued pit bull, during the "Pits For Patriots Stars and Strikes Fundraiser" Sunday at Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates. The event featured bowling, raffles and silent auctions and a bake sale to raise money to rescue pit bulls and train them for service work.

       Greg Yearwood of Bensenville receives a kiss from Mira, a rescued pit bull, during the "Pits For Patriots Stars and Strikes Fundraiser" Sunday at Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates. The event featured bowling, raffles and silent auctions and a bake sale to raise money to rescue pit bulls and train them for service work.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com

A rescued pit bull named Mira was one of the first things people saw Sunday when they entered Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates for the Pits For Patriots Stars and Strikes Fundraiser.

That's only fitting since Mira, and the idea behind her, is why many were coming to the bowling alley Sunday afternoon. Eighty bowlers, and two pit bulls, attended the event to raise money for Pits for Patriots, a group which rescues pit bulls then trains them as service dogs for veterans and first responders.

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"They learn to turn on lights, open and close doors, retrieve items and to carry a grocery basket," said founder Kelly Yearwood of Bensenville.

After two years of training, Mira is the first dog ready for duty. In a couple of months the organization will be looking for someone to match her up with.

This is the first year for the Stars and Strikes Fundraiser, which featured bowling, raffles, silent auctions and a bake sale, for both people and pets. Bowlers, young and old, took to the lanes and laughed as the ball rolled down the lanes with varying success.

"I think it's a wonderful cause. The dogs are really wonderful and they help out all the patriots," Lynne Hoyer of Crystal Lake said after helping her 3-year-old daughter, Ellie, bowl on the bumper lanes. "I think it's a great time and a lot of fun with friends."

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