Thursday, July 25, 2013

Three recognized as Cabool Dedicated Dogs

Kirby Holmes, left, of Cabool Development Foundation and Cabool Alumni Association presented certificates and Dedicated Dog shirts to Mitchell Bess and Dr. Kristene Sutliff during Tuesday's Cabool Area Chamber of Commerce meeting. Not shown is Aaron Ayer, another Dedicated Dog.

Three persons who have given of their talents and time for the betterment of Cabool were honored as “Dedicated Dogs” during Tuesday’s noon meeting of Cabool Area Chamber of Commerce.

Kirby Holmes of Cabool Development Foundation and Cabool Alumni Association made presentations to Dr. Kristene Sutliff and Mitchell Bess and also recognized Aaron Ayer, who could not be present. Holmes explained that the Dedicated Dog program is a way for persons with past or present ties to Cabool to share of their time and expertise to work toward the betterment of the community.

Sutliff, a Cabool native and Cabool High School graduate, is a professor at Missouri State University in Springfield. Student projects through her classes have resulted in grant applications made on the community’s behalf and in the development of a Cabool web site and community brochure.

Bess, who began his association with Cabool through one of Sutliff’s classes, has continued on his own, making videos that feature local citizens and their reasons for calling Cabool home.

Ayer, who is also a CHS graduate, is a Harvard graduate who, along with Holmes, developed the Dedicated Dogs program. Ayer has mentored Sutliff’s students and was instrumental in the reworking of the Cabool web site and its brochure.

Sutliff spoke of her love of the community and how she enjoyed being able to contribute. She encouraged others to also become Dedicated Dogs. She said a grant was written to obtain musical instruments for the STARS Foundation in Cabool, but was not funded. However, while on Facebook one day she saw a friend’s post about free musical instruments to anyone who needed them. She contacted STARS and that person and it resulted in 12 new violins for the STARS. “It’s about connecting the dots,” she said, “keeping your eyes and ears open.”

Bess showed several video clips he has developed which can be used in the promoting of Cabool and on its web site. Before becoming involved as part of one of Sutliff’s classes, he had never even been to Cabool, but has become one of its biggest promoters. His designation as a Dedicated Dog makes him an honorary Cabool resident, Holmes said.

Holmes said there are 30 to 40 people who are assisting the community as Dedicated Dogs.

You can learn more about becoming a Dedicated Dog, by visiting

Courtesy, The Cabool Enterprise