Man’s Best Friend Gets Helping Hand from Charles Lafitte Foundation

The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF), a private charitable organization run by Suzanne and Jeffrey Citron, is giving man’s best friend a helping hand, donating $10,000 to Canine Companions for Independence (CCI)

The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF), a private charitable organization run by Suzanne and Jeffrey Citron, is giving man’s best friend a helping hand, donating $10,000 to Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). The group pioneered the concept of training dogs to help people with physical disabilities.  The non-profit organization enhances the lives of children and adults with physical, developmental or emotional disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support.

“Anyone with a pet knows how much they enrich our lives, but in many cases, people with disabilities are able to lead even fuller lives with the help of a special pet,” said Jeffrey Citron, co-founder, board member, Charles Lafitte Foundation.  “CCI is an amazing organization that helps so many and we are thrilled that our contribution will further their efforts to partner people in need with pets.”

CLF’s donation will be used specifically to pair children with companions.  Since 1975, Canine Companions for Independence has opened doors of opportunity for people who demonstrate that a pet will enhance their independence and improve their quality of life.   Using a selective breeding program and an extensive network of volunteers, CCI raises and trains Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers for four types of Canine Companion teams:  service teams, hearing teams, skilled companion teams and facility teams.  Dogs go through six to nine months of Advanced Training, and once partnered, another two weeks of Team Training with the companion.   Participants pay $100 for Team Training, but the cost is reimbursed in supplies, and individuals are not charged for the pets. 

“Like CLF, we are committed to improving the quality of life for people,” said JoAnne Cohn, National Development Associate, Canine Companions for Independence.  “CCI is funded entirely by gifts and contributions, and we are grateful that the Charles Lafitte Foundation is supporting our ongoing effort to team people with canines who truly add more to their world.”

About The Charles Lafitte Foundation:

The Charles Lafitte Foundation is a private philanthropic organization founded by Suzanne and Jeffrey Citron.   A multifaceted, multi-purposed organization comprised of four distinct project areas, CLF strives to affect innovative change in the areas of education, children’s advocacy, medical research and the arts.  Contributions range from single donations to on-going project funding and volunteer work.  Grant proposals may be submitted via the organization’s web site, www.charleslafitte.org.  Preference is given to proposals and programs that foster significant change for many individuals.

About Jeffrey Citron:

Jeffrey Citron is a technology pioneer and visionary who transformed the financial services industry. As Chairman and CEO of Vonage, Mr. Citron aims to redefine yet another industry — telecommunications.

Some of the more revolutionary financial services developments over the past decade were spearheaded by Mr. Citron. In 1995, Mr. Citron founded The Island ECN, a computerized trading system designed to eliminate the problems associated with order execution. The Island ECN recently was acquired by Instinet Group for 503 million dollars.  Today the newly merged company is one of the largest global financial exchanges, and is responsible for more than one in four NASDAQ trades.

Following on the success of The Island ECN, Mr. Citron founded and became the Chairman and CEO of Datek Online Holdings Corp. as Datek transitioned into the online brokerage industry. Under his leadership, Datek had grown to become the fourth largest online brokerage in the US, and was recently acquired by Ameritrade Holdings for 1.3 billion dollars.  The newly merged company with nearly 3 million customers is now the second largest online financial services firm behind the Charles Schwab Company.   Mr. Citron departed Datek in 1999 and, recognizing a similar opportunity, founded Vonage.

Apart from his entrepreneurial activities, Mr. Citron is continually pursuing philanthropic initiatives. He currently serves on the board of the Montclair Art Museum and through his family foundation routinely funds medical research, supports the Arts and dedicates his time and resources to children’s charities.

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For more information, contact:
Ruder Finn
212.715.1694
woodsa@ruderfinn.com

Jennifer Vertetis
Charles Lafitte Foundation
jennifer@charleslafitte.org