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Manning Women in Business ‘Paws’ to Help Veterans

Students Raise More Than $2,100 for Nonprofit Operation Delta Dog

Manning students pose for a photo at the Walk and Wag fundraising event Photo by Ed Brennen
Students from the Manning Women in Business club pose with faculty advisor Elise Magnant's golden retriever, Guinness, at the Walk & Wag fundraising event in Carlisle.

By Ed Brennen

On a freezing Saturday morning when they could have just as easily pulled their comforters over their heads and kept sleeping, more than two dozen Manning School of Business students were out raising awareness – and more than $2,000 – for a good cause.

Led by the new club Manning Women in Business, the students participated in the fifth annual Walk & Wag for Veterans at Great Brook Farm State Park in nearby Carlisle. The Veterans Day event raises money for Operation Delta Dog, a Chelmsford-based nonprofit that rescues homeless dogs and trains them to be assistance dogs for veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other challenges.

“Everyone here knows someone or has a family member that’s a veteran or is currently serving, so it’s great to be a part of this,” said the club’s founder and president, junior business administration major Kellsie Howard.
Manning students walk the 2-mile trail course at the fundraiser Photo by Ed Brennen
Manning School of Business students share a laugh as they walk the 2-mile course at the Walk & Wag fundraiser in Carlisle.

In its first fundraising event, the Manning Women in Business team raised more than $2,100 in donations for Operation Delta Dog, the third highest total of the 35 teams that participated. The event, which included a 2-mile walk and silent auction, raised more than $44,000 overall.

Howard, whose concentrations are in finance and management, said community service will be a primary focus of the club, which is open to all business students (both women and men).

“Students are so focused on getting good grades and internships, but giving back to the community is one of the most important things you can do,” said Howard, whose club was joined at the event by several members of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.
Junior business administration major Fin Collins, the club’s chief operating officer, said it’s important for students to give their time and energy to causes, no matter how busy they are.

“The more we can help out with things like this and give back to the community, the more other students will want to get involved with causes they’re passionate about,” Collins said. “It feels good to give back, for sure.”
A sign points the way along the course at the fundraiser Photo by Ed Brennen
A sign points the way for walkers at the fundraising event at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle.
Junior business administration major Devin Fossey, the club’s secretary, said her father is a veteran but thankfully does not suffer from PTSD.
“I definitely feel for people that do,” Fossey said. “You never know what they go through. It’s good to help create a sense of awareness.”

Elise Magnant, the club’s advisor and a visiting instructor in management, knows Operation Delta Dog founder Trisha Blanchet and suggested the event to members.

“Everyone shared it on social media and the students really got behind it, which is great to see,” said Magnant, who brought her golden retriever, Guinness, for the brisk but sunny 2-mile walk through the woods.