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Graham Doodles of Iowa recently partnered with Gigi’s Playhouse to raise nearly $14,000 to help increase positive awareness of Down syndrome.
Graham Doodles of Iowa is owned and operated by Jentry Graham, a graduate of Mount Ayr High School and also a nurse with EveryStep Hospice in Mount Ayr.
“Working at EveryStep as a hospice nurse, I get to help people every day but it obviously involves a lot of death and sadness,” said Graham. “Raising dogs brings life and joy to families.”
Graham began breeding goldendoodles back in 2017 and have continued to grow, sending dogs as far away as Florida, with one from the most current litter headed to Virginia, later this year.
What is a goldendoodle? A goldendoodle, to put it simply, is a “designer dog” that is a mix of poodle and golden retriever breeds.
After Graham Doodles took off, she was able to go part-time as a hospice nurse and spend a little more time with the dogs to bring a better balance to her life, helping those in hospice care, while also bringing life to families through the dogs.
That is when Graham’s good friend Morgan Edgeton, reached out to see if she would be interested in donating a puppy for Gigi’s Playhouse.
Gigi’s Playhouse, out of Des Moines, is an organization with a vision to see a world where individuals with Down syndrome are accepted and embraced in their families, schools and communities. Gigi’s Playhouse operates out of 57 locations, worldwide.
“After learning about Gigi’s Playhouse’s mission we absolutely wanted to help,” said Graham. “It means so much to us to do such a small gesture on our end to raise that kind of money that would help so many individuals with Down syndrome.”
On March 4, Gigi’s Playhouse held a gala in which Graham Doodles donated a puppy that raised $13,900.
“Attending the Gala, we learned just how kind and generous people can be in a sometimes not so nice world.” said Graham.