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The American Kennel Club® announced today that the Andrew D’Ambrose of Woodbridge, Conn. has been named a recipient of the AKC® Community Achievement Awards. D’Ambrose, recognized for staging an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event as his Eagle Scout project, received one of three awards this quarter – Northern Neck Kennel Club of Va. and Janet DiNitto of Sauquoit, N.Y., also received acknowledgement.

The AKC Community Achievement Awards support and recognize outstanding public education and legislation efforts of AKC-affiliated clubs, AKC-recognized federations and their members. The AKC selects award recipients who promote purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership.

D’Ambrose, a high school senior who serves on the board of the Elm City Kennel Club, decided to hold an AKC RDO Day event to become an Eagle Scout, which is the most advanced level of scouting and requires that the scout organize a community service project that takes at least 100 hours of volunteer time. The event, held in Bethany, Conn., was the first AKC RDO Day held in Bethany and the state’s first Eagle Scout project to include an AKC RDO Day, Canine Good Citizen testing and a microchip clinic.

D’Ambrose secured indoor and outdoor venues for his AKC RDO Day, raised $2600 from local businesses and area AKC clubs to cover event costs, and designed, produced and mailed booklets and advertising for the celebration at his own expense. Additionally, he organized an array of speakers and demonstrations on subjects including therapy dogs, grooming, training, Greyhound rescue and K-9 units. In total, D’Ambrose spent more than 200 volunteer hours preparing for and executing the project. The event was such a success that D’Ambrose was approached by the manager of a participating boarding kennel, who expressed interest in taking over the project as a yearly event for the town.

“Andrew D’Ambrose organized an immensely successful AKC RDO Day event, an impressive endeavor,” said Noreen Baxter, AKC’s VP of Communications. “The American Kennel Club is honored that he chose to promote responsible dog ownership for his Eagle Scout project and congratulates him on a job well done.”

Nominations for the AKC Community Achievement Awards are accepted year-round. Up to three honorees are named each quarter. They receive a certificate of appreciation and a $1,000 check payable to the club or federation’s public education and canine legislation efforts.