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DES MOINES, IA – The Drake University community met its new live bulldog mascot on Thursday. Griff, a retired show dog, is ready for the limelight as the University’s furry ambassador for athletics events, student celebrations, and community festivities. (Follow him on Twitter: @DrakeUGriff)

Drake University President Marty Martin, Student Body President Kevin Maisto, Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb, and Live Mascot Director Erin Bell introduced Griff to a large crowd of Drake students, faculty, and staff members during a campus celebration in Drake’s Helmick Commons.

“Our new live mascot will embody the virtues of a Bulldog, unite our campus community, and inspire new levels of school spirit,” President Martin said. “He is a great addition to our family."

Drake officials announced in April that the University would begin its search for a new live mascot to walk in the pawprints of Porterhouse, a 2009 Beautiful Bulldog Contest winner who served as Drake’s official live mascot until he passed away in December 2013.

After months of searching, Bell—who owned Porterhouse along with her husband, Kevin—locked eyes with Griff. Immediately they knew he had the right combination of looks, charm, confidence, and kindness to represent the university.

“It was love at first sight,” Bell said. “He loves people and can’t get enough attention. He’s a sweet and gentle guy—all the stars aligned when we saw him."

Bell shuttled Griff into Thursday’s celebration in a custom-designed car donated for the live mascot by Mercedes-Benz of Des Moines; a stylish flourish that complements the personality of a dog that cherishes the spotlight. Griff was born in Canada and moved to Iowa when he was 3 months old. He wowed the competition on the American Kennel Club dog show circuit under the supervision of his former owner, who prefers to remain anonymous, before recently retiring from competition. Now, at age 3, he still loves the spotlight—and he has plenty of it ahead.

A committee of representatives from across the Drake campus selected the name Griff in honor of John L. Griffith, who served as the university’s athletic director from 1908 to 1918. Among Griffith’s contributions to the university: He organized a track-and-field meet in 1910, in a blizzard, that became the first-ever Drake Relays. Today the meet is one of the nation’s pre-eminent high school, collegiate, and elite meets, and draws leading athletes from around the world.

But another of Griffith’s legacies is even more central to Drake’s identity and reputation. When Griffith arrived at Drake, the sports teams were known as “The Drakes.” Griffith, who coached football and track, owned two English bulldogs and brought them with him to football practices and games. The bulldogs were so popular among students and fans that a writer from The Des Moines Register began referring to Drake as the Bulldogs, and the name stuck.

“You could safely say that without John L. Griffith, we would not be the Bulldogs,” said Clubb. "A century later, we know that the bulldog is the perfect mascot for Drake University—it might be small, but it’s fearless, and it’s perfectly aligned with the personality of this institution. That’s why we’re so excited to have named the mascot Griff."

Just as John L. Griffith showed Drake University its true identity— and the late live mascot Porterhouse showed the campus a new level of unity and school spirit— Griff is ready to show Drake what he’s made of, said Maisto, the student body president.

"If you met Porterhouse, you know the impact that a live mascot can have on school spirit,” said Maisto. "I remember how the crowds in the Knapp Center cheered when Porterhouse stepped onto the court. When he was on campus, students crowded around him like a celebrity—or a presidential candidate. Porterhouse radiated that pride, excitement, loyalty, and kindness that unites all Bulldogs. I know that Griff will bring that same excitement to campus."

Photo of Griff courtesy of Drake University

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Drake University is a midsize, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, enrolling more than 3,300 undergraduate and 1,700 graduate students from 40 states and approximately 40 countries. Students choose from over 70 majors, minors, and concentrations and 20 graduate degrees offered through six colleges and schools. Drake students, faculty, and staff take advantage of the wealth of cultural, recreational, and business opportunities found in Iowa's capital city. In return, Drake enriches the city through its own cultural offerings, considerable economic impact, and many service-learning endeavors, which channel the talent and energy of the Drake students toward meeting the needs of the community.

Greetings from your friends at The Peanuts Movie and 20th Century Fox!  Snoopy’s birthday is coming up on Monday, August 10, so we’re starting the celebration early.

Starting today, Thursday, August 6thwe’re asking our very talented friends to #DrawSnoopy. Here’s how you can join the fun.

  1. Watch this video of The Peanuts Movie director Steve Martino showing how he draws Snoopy. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4gGrfUXLfo)

2     (2) Draw Snoopy on your own.

Sincerely,  The Peanuts Movie gang

 Ps – Be sure to use #DrawSnoopy when you share so we can find it!

 

A 3-Legged Rescue Dog with a Cause Inspires Film Opening in Theaters August 28th

July 6, 2015Dogs really can be humans greatest teachers and Marshall the Miracle Dog will be “hopping” across the country this summer on his “Commit to Be Kind” tour in anticipation of the release of his film, Marshall’s Miracle, opening August 28th in select theaters.

Marshall, a 3-legged scar faced, rescue dog, found near death in a deplorable hoarding situation in Marshall, MO, proves after dying 3 times on the Humane Society’s operating table, that he has a purpose to serve. Marshall, now a certified therapy dog, carries his messages of Empathy, Perseverance and Forgiveness and has visited over 370 schools (120,000) students since the launch of his award winning children’s book (2012). Now his life’s journey inspired a major motion film, Marshall’s Miracle.

Owner Cynthia Willenbrock comments, “I was told Marshall had a reason he fought so hard to survive when I adopted him in 2011. It did not take long to see the connections children (and adults) made with Marshall. It was clear what we had to do. Shortly after writing his children’s book, I quit my pharmaceutical sales job in order to ‘share’ Marshall with others. I witness Marshall “minor miracles” in the lives of others everyday—the stories are countless!”

Marshall has inspired a true movement and now has an Anti-Bullying school curriculum based on his cornerstone messages. For real change to occur it takes collaborations and thus numerous national organizations are behind Marshall such as Girl Scouts of America, 4-H, Pet Shelters Across America and PACERs National Bullying Prevention Center.

Synopsis: Inspired by Marshall’s true story, Marshall’s Miracle, shares the adventure of Finn, a 13-year-old boy, who has become the target of bullies at his new school.  Finn is feeling hopeless – that is, until he finds Marshall being caged up by a dog-hoarder.  The bond of friendship is immediate.  Finn knows he must rescue Marshall, but Marshall has been abused by the other dogs and needs to see the vet right away.  The race against the bullies, against the dog hoarder, and against time, is on.  In the end, Marshall leads everyone to a place of change, forgiveness, and friendship. Trailer http://vimeo.com/108093075

Marshall’s Miracle received the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the St. Louis International Film Festival. During Pre-release, the film was also awarded “Best Family Film” at the Wild Rose Film Festival, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch hailed it as the “Best Family Film” in 2014.  The Dove Foundation awarded the film "4 out of 5 Doves", and approved the film for “all ages".  The film stars Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie), Lauren Holly (NCIS, Dumb and Dumber), Matthew Settle (Gossip Girl, Band of Brothers), and award-winning comedian Bill Chott, as well as Lucas Carroll (The Informant).

Lionsgate, SKE Films, Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment present a 110 minute, PG-13, Drama, Romance, directed by Lee Toland Krieger, written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz with a theater release date of April 24, 2015.

Lionsgate, Mosaic Media Group, Relativity and Blumhouse Productions present a PG-13, 83 minute, Thriller, directed by David Gelb, written by Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater with a theater release date of February 27, 2015.

SMITHTOWN, NY – (December 17, 2014) - Guardians of Rescue, a national organization dedicated to the welfare of animals rescued Jada, a 3 year old pit bull living in a dirt crawl space under the foundation of a home on a frigid winter day in 2013. That was her life, or more appropriately, her existence. Now, on December 23, 2014, Jada, has become a fully trained service dog through their Paws of War Program, and will be placed with local veteran. “When we found Jada a year ago, she’d been used for breeding and lived outside. She had a broken jaw that healed crooked and she was found huddled in a dirt crawl space. We took her in and as we got to know her, we saw what an amazing personality she has,” affirms Dori Scofield, vice-president of Guardians of Rescue. “We decided to put her into our Paws of War Program and train her to become a service dog for a veteran suffering from PTSD. She has proven to be amazingly smart, and also an inspiration for forgiveness and survival!" With a large number of military men and women returning home and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Guardians of Rescue wanted to do something to help. Guardians of Rescue started the “Paws of War” program, which takes the time to rescue dogs and train them to suit the needs of those with PTSD and TBI and match them to a veteran. Jada will go to, Air Force Sergeant Duane R. Franzone for Christmas. Duane will now join the ranks of dozens of service dogs and veterans who have been united through Guardians of Rescue and are now on the road to recovery. On December 23, 2014, Jada will finally meet her new owner and pal, Duane R. Franzone, a former sergeant in the Air Force, at the Save-a-Pet facility in Long Island, New York. Franzone spent 12 1/2 years in the Air Force, including deployment in Afghanistan, before being medically retired and now suffers from PTSD that has effects on his daily life. “I’m thrilled to be able to welcome Jada into my home. I hope that she can help me with my PTSD and I can help her by providing her a home and love,” affirms Sgt. Franzone. “It’s the best Christmas present I could ask for.” “The holidays can be particularly rough for PTSD veterans because of the increase in crowds, noise and activities,” affirms Scofield. “We want Jada and Duane to be able to be together for the holidays to help each other, especially after all that Duane has sacrificed for our country, he deserves to feel safe and loved.” To learn more or to make a donation, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org. About Guardians of Rescue Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an international organization whose mission is to protect the well being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including facilitating foster programs, rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups and providing support to families, both military or not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.

 

TERI POLO STARS IN ‘THE CHRISTMAS SHEPHERD’ A Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere Sunday, November 23 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)

A widowed children’s book author and a single father find a way to holiday happiness over a very special German Shepherd when Teri Polo (“The Christmas Heart,” “The Fosters”) stars with Martin Cummins (“When Calls the Heart”) and newcomer Ace as “Buddy” the dog!

“The Christmas Shepherd” is part of @HallmarkChannel ’s #CountdownToChristmas, the #1 most treasured holiday destination by television viewers!

DreamWorks Animation, 20th Century Fox, Pacific Data Images and Bullwinkle Studios present a 92 minute, PG, 3D, animation, adventure, comedy, directed by Rob Minkoff, based on the series produced by Jay Ward and screenplay by Craig Wright with a theater release date of March 7, 2014.

The famed top dog MR. PEABODY was honored at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood with an installation pawprint ceremony today to celebrate the upcoming DreamWorks Animation film MR PEABODY & SHERMAN.

The film’s stars Ty Burrell and Max Charles were joined by local school children and Hollywood’s top dogs such as Lassie, Beethoven and Rin Tin Tin to pawsitively support the canine cement honor.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman opens nationwide on March 7.

Synopsis: Mr. Peabody, the most accomplished dog in the world, and his mischievous boy Sherman, use their time machine - The Wabac - to go on the most outrageous adventures known to man or dog. But when Sherman takes The Wabac out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny, they accidently rip a hole in the universe, wreaking havoc on the most important events in world history.  Before they forever alter the past, present and future, Mr. Peabody must come to their rescue, ultimately facing the most daunting challenge of any era:  figuring out how to be a parent. Together, the time traveling trio will make their mark on history.

Film Chest Media Group Proudly Presents
The Adventures of Champion the
Wonder Horse: The Complete Series

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