$25,000 Grant Will Provide Upgrade to Guide Dogs of the Desert Nursery

May 29, 2024

Palm Desert, Calif., (May 28, 2024) – The on-site nursery at Guide Dogs of the Desert will soon receive upgrades thanks to a $25,000 grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. The grant was awarded at a recent graduation of five specifically trained guide dogs and their visually impaired companions. The two graduating standard poodles were born at the Sanford J. Reed Nursery, located on the nonprofit’s campus in Whitewater.


“The first few weeks of these puppies’ lives are extremely critical to ensuring they are in good health and are acclimated to humans from birth, which leads to greater success in the guide dog training process,” said Robert Maher, Executive Director of Guide Dogs of the Desert.


Founded in 1972, Guide Dogs of the Desert has grown into an internationally accredited school that custom-trains guide dogs and then carefully matches them with human companions. More than 900 client/dog teams have graduated from Guide Dogs of the Desert. In 2021, the nonprofit expanded its breeding program and opened the Sanford J. Reed Nursery, which has since been the first home to 102 puppies.


“We are extremely proud to support Guide Dogs of the Desert, which is truly changing people’s lives with these highly sophisticated canine companions,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.


The grant will provide a high-grade video monitoring system for the nursery. Although the on-site nursery has around-the-clock attention from staff and volunteers, this enhancement will allow veterinarians to see the puppies remotely anytime, as well. Funding will also purchase furniture and other necessary supplies that help keep the nursery safe and stress-free for the puppies and their mothers.


“It’s remarkable that through the generosity of donors, volunteers, puppy raisers and an abundance of community support, Guide Dogs of the Desert is able to provide custom-trained guide dogs at no cost to the people who need them,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.


The Berger Foundation presents Impact Grants in partnership with News Channel 3. Impact Grants are awarded on the concept that through service, funding, and awareness, we are “Making a Difference Together.” In addition to the grant, each organization also receives media coverage about its mission across News Channel 3’s various platforms including News at 4 and kesq.com. To learn more about Guide Dogs of the Desert, call 760-329-6257 or go to guidedogsofthedesert.org. For more information about Impact Grants, go to kesq.com/life/impact-grants.


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Media Contact:

Cara Van Dijk



About Gulf California Broadcast Company 

Gulf California Broadcast Company owns and operates five TV stations in the Palm Springs market including the local ABC affiliate (KESQ) and CBS affiliate (KPSP). GCBC is committed to providing the community with local news and information along with the connectivity that brings people and organizations together. As part of this ongoing commitment to the community, GCBC is proud to partner with the Berger Foundation to present the Coachella Valley Spotlight, which supports local charities.


About the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation

The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation is a private foundation that generously supports educational and other charitable projects.