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September 12th, 2013

Press Release – Therapy/Comfort Dog Walk-a-thon, Official Launch of Charlotte’s Litter Program

Headshot: JoAnn Bacon
JoAnn Bacon

For Immediate Release

Date: September 12, 2013

Contact: Aaron Carlson  

Newtown Kindness Announces Therapy/Comfort Dog Walk-a-thon, Official Launch of Charlotte’s Litter Program

District Legislators Credited for the Passage of HB 6465 to Attend

Newtown, CT- Newtown Kindness, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded after the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in an effort to encourage, facilitate, and recognize the value of kindness, will host a  Therapy/Comfort Dog Walk-a-thon, on November 2nd 2013. The event will launch the multi-faceted “Charlotte’s Litter” Program in recognition of the benefits of Therapy and Comfort Dogs.

The Charlotte’s Litter program was designed by the parents of Charlotte Bacon, who died tragically on December 14, 2012 with her friends and classmates at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Joel and JoAnn Bacon, along with Charlotte’s brother, Guy, created the program not only because Charlotte had a love for dogs, but also due to their own personal experiences with dogs in the wake of the tragedy.  The program’s aim is to advocate for animal assisted activity with Therapy/Comfort Dogs and their roles as supportive friends and trusted companions.  We strive to create turnkey programs that make Therapy/Comfort Dogs accessible to every man, woman, and child.

“The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the value of therapy and comfort dogs within communities, while launching the new Charlotte’s Litter program.” said JoAnn Bacon.

State Representative Diana Urban and State Senator Dante Bartolomeo, who were both influential in securing the passage of House Bill 6465, an act concerning animal therapy which facilitates the development and implementation of a state-wide animal assisted therapy program,  will take part in the Walk-a-thon.

“I had the pleasure of meeting the Bacon’s at Newtown’s ‘Thank You to the Therapy Dogs’ event in June.  I was touched by the story of Guy’s positive experience with the therapy dog teams, and how helpful they had been to his ability to connect to his emotions after the tragic loss of his sister, Charlotte.  I am proud to join them in support of Charlotte’s Litter Walkathon.” said State Senator Dante Bartolomeo.

The Walk-a-thon will be held on Saturday, November 2nd from 10:30am – 2:30pm at the Fairfield Hills campus in Newtown.  At the event, all registered walkers will learn more about the Charlotte’s Litter program, while speaking with the Bacon family and the Newtown Kindness Board about:

• The Newtown Kindness Mission

• Charlotte and her love for animals

• The impact that Therapy/Comfort Dogs have in Newtown

• The program’s literacy efforts, book publishing plans, and Therapy/Comfort dog support goals

The goal for Newtown Kindness is to raise $10,000 to support the future initiatives.  Register as a walker at  You can gain sponsors to walk a mile alongside our amazing Therapy and Comfort Dogs!

Funds raised will be directed toward:

  • Literacy programs and educational efforts with the use of Therapy and Comfort Dogs
  • Support of existing Therapy and Comfort Dog programs by covering training needs and operating supplies
  • General Therapy and Comfort Dog Advocacy and accessibility initiatives

*This Event is only for certified and previously invited Therapy/Comfort Dogs and not open to personal pets

*Dogs and handlers are volunteers already committed

*Walkers registering should be individuals in the community who want to raise funds in support of Charlotte’s Litter, while honoring our volunteer dog teams by walking together

Additional donations can be submitted directly through our website:

For updated news on Newtown Kindness and Charlotte’s Litter, visit: or

Media Contact: Aaron Carlson,, 203-461-1055


About Newtown Kindness

Newtown Kindness is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded subsequent to the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th 2012 in an effort to encourage, facilitate, and recognize the value of kindness. The organization’s mission is to promote kindness as a guiding principle of humanity.

Headshot: JoAnn Bacon

JoAnn Bacon

JoAnn, along with husband Joel, co-founded the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation to honor the way their little girl lived so boldly. She and Joel also published the children’s books Good Dogs, Great Listeners and The Dogs of Newtown, written by their son and Charlotte’s older brother. JoAnn is committed to de-stigmatizing grief and bereavement, particularly child loss. Her writing has been featured in many national publications including TIME, Modern Loss, and The Mighty.