Canine Partners for Life (CPL) has launched an $8.5 million capital campaign, The Partnership for Independence Campaign. This campaign will create facilities which are safe, accessible, appropriately sized, and respectful of the needs of the population of people we serve. The construction project will be done in two phases and we are proud to announce we have raised more than $5.4 million and will break ground on phase one, the Marian S. Ware Program Services Center, this month.

The Marian S. Ware Program Services Center, given with love from her daughter, Marilyn Ware of “The Woods” Charitable Foundation, will become the hub of CPL’s program activities; housing all staff (except kennel staff), a larger harness shop, interview rooms for both applicant and volunteer interviews, multiple accessible restrooms, entrances, and exits. The entire building will have improved efficiency and will be designed for our clients who utilize wheelchairs and scooters.

Darlene Sullivan, Executive Director and Founder of CPL, explains, “This campaign is about respect and appreciation for the needs of the people who we serve. As Canine Partners for Life continues to grow and improve, it is imperative that our applicants, students, graduates, volunteers, and staff have a facility where they can learn and work in a space that is respectful of their individual needs and unique situations.”

As graduates return to CPL for successor dogs (their second, third, or fourth service dog from CPL), they are always moved to the top of the waiting list, causing new applicants to be faced with waits of up to five years to receive a dog. “Our facility cannot support further growth to meet the needs of our clients until we address critical facility improvements and expansion,” remarked Darlene Sullivan.

As construction begins on the Marian S. Ware Program Services Center, which should take about a year, we will continue our intense fundraising effort to secure the remaining $3.1 million to begin phase two of the campaign, building a completely new Training Center. Construction on the Mollie and Minor Barringer Training Center featuring the Copeland Training Room is expected to begin as soon as the Marian S. Ware Program Services Center is complete.

Jerry W. Childers is the Architect and Project Manager for both phases of the campaign. Andrews Excavating, LLC is contracted for the site work and C. Raymond Davis & Sons, Inc. is the general contractor for the Marian S. Ware Program Services Center.

C. Victoria Kitchell, Campaign Chair, expressed her excitement. “Thanks to the support of our major donors who have made this campaign project possible, CPL’s future is secure and we can continue providing independence to individuals with disabilities. We hope everyone will join in our excitement, follow our progress, and spread the word to help us secure the remaining $3.1 million.”

We send our deepest appreciation to The Partnership for Independence’s lead donors: Mollie and Minor Barringer, Mr. and Mrs. Gerret van S. Copeland, Marilyn Ware of “The Woods” Charitable Foundation, The Estate of Lisa Moseley, The Longwood Foundation, Crystal Trust, Mr. and Mrs. David Twing, C. Victoria Kitchell, Phil and Daphne Reese, and the Marian S. Ware Fund.

We invite you to learn more about this campaign, view photos, and stay updated on our progress by visiting