By Kate Tobiasson, Contributing Writer
Westborough – A strong heart and a generous spirit are needed to run over seven miles in the August heat to raise money for a cause. Last week, Melanie Borglund of Westborough strove to show her commitment to NEADS service dogs by running the Falmouth Road Race.
Borglund began training for the race eight months ago, making her New Year’s Resolution to get back to running. When the opportunity came to join the race and help support NEADS, a service dog organization based in Princeton, she jumped at the chance.
“It is important to give back when you’re able to, she said. “There are so many people who have helped me when I’ve needed assistance; I thought it was important to give back when I could.”
NEADS helps to provide service dogs for veterans, adults and children with physical disabilities, autism and as assistance dogs. Due to the commitment of the organization to breed, care and train for the dogs before they are placed with a family, each dog costs about $45,000 before it finds a forever home. Aware of the significant financial burden that this places on the organization, Borglund’s decision to raise money through the Falmouth Road Race was an easy one.
“I first heard about [NEADS] through one of my friends who raises service dogs,” Borglund explained. “I work at Blue Pearl Animal Hospital in Waltham, and our specialists perform any special medical care that they need. The dogs are just amazing; they live to please. The hard of NEADS work is evident in each dog. These dogs help to make people’s daily lives better.”
In total, Borglund raised about $2,500 for NEADS through fundraising online and promoting on Facebook. She also wrote to local companies and asked for donations.
“I was so thankful to the many wonderful companies in town who responded and chose to donate to the cause,” she said. “Our biggest fundraiser was at the Westborough House of Pizza. People came and 20 percent of their bill was donated to my cause. I held a raffle that went really well and we were able to raise $1,300 in one night. I felt so grateful and blessed that so many people chose to come out and support me.”
For more information about NEADS, visit https://neads.org/.