A group in Citrus County is working to make a difference. Find-M' Friends (FMF) is an organization that strives to educate the public on the benefits of using scent discriminating bloodhounds to search for missing and lost individuals. FMF assists and supports law enforcement in their search and rescue efforts and also provides and sponsors scent discriminating K-9 training.
FMF will host their inaugural Homecoming Gala at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Archangel Michael Orthodox Church, located at 4705 W. Gulf-to-Lake Highway. The proceeds from this semi-formal event will benefit FMF and the work that they do to bring lost or missing individuals to safety, including providing their Out-of-Harm’s-Way scent kits to Citrus County citizens at no cost.
Cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. There will be a cash bar and the dinner menu will include prime rib and chicken cordon bleu. Guests will enjoy a night of fun and entertainment, as Chinese auctions, raffles, drawings and awards will fill the evening and music will be presented by DJ Trae.
“During the event we will have an array of wonderful raffle items for our Chinese auction from baskets of goodies to gift certificates graciously donated by local Citrus County businesses,” shared Bridget Didsbury, vice president of FMF. “The list includes kayak rentals, spa baskets, doggie baskets, restaurant certificates and a boat cruise on the Homosassa River, to name a few.”
With such an array of items available, each attendee is sure to find something of interest to them there.
“We also are raffling off a liquor wagon with a ready-made party for the lucky winner,” said Didsbury, “And, of course, a Share-the-Wealth drawing will be held.”
This is the first Homecoming Gala of many that FMF hopes to host.
“We hope to spread the word on all the facets of Find-M’ Friends. We purchase AKC bloodhound puppies, socialize them and train them to be man-trailing bloodhounds. We then gift the trained puppies to law enforcement,” said Didsbury. “This process takes hours and hours of our many volunteers time. We train a few times a week and work with the dogs here at our kennel.”
Currently, FMF has gifted over 20 trained bloodhounds to law enforcement in seven states.
“These dogs are like our kids and we want them to have an excellent career, be ready to save lives, help catch bad guys and also have a good life,” said Didsbury.