Holly Pond Lions donate remaining $2K for local family’s Diabetic Alert Dog

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The Holly Pond Lions Club presents the Howard family with a check for $2,000 Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. Left to right are Jay Huddleston, Wayne Hays, Bartee Bryan, Mike Williams, Jerry Goldin, Ann Harrison, Cash Howard, Raelyn Howard, Tylyn Howard, Sarai Howard, Robbie Howard, Keith Carr, Dewitt Sanford, Gary Ayers and Clarence Benefield. (Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – The Holly Pond Lions Club, at its Monday night meeting, presented a check for $2,000 to the family of 7-year-old Cash Howard, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes this fall. The donation helped the family officially meet its goal of $18,000, the amount needed to pay for a Diabetic Alert Dog for Howard. The family has been raising funds since September and will now get to bring black labradoodle Luna home once her training is complete.  

The club recently organized another fundraiser for Howard and Luna. On Nov. 12, the group held a pancake breakfast that raised $2,275. 

Holly Pond Lions Club President Ann Harrison said, “Diabetes is one of the Lions Club emphases. It’s one of the five strong points we emphasize.” Other facets recognized globally by Lions Club International as important charitable causes are childhood cancer, the environment, vision and hunger.  

The Howards visited Luna and her trainer Kim Johnson in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last week so that Howard could train with her in public places. His mom, Sarai Howard, said, “She wants us to come once a month for Cash to get the feel of leading Luna. She wants him to get the feel of how Luna is when she alerts.” 

Luna will be able to alert Cash Howard when his blood glucose levels drop too low. She will be able to smell chemical changes and alert him 30 minutes before his glucose drops to dangerous levels. 

When the family first visited Johnson in August, Cash Howard met with four different dogs before she matched him with Luna. Sarai Howard said, “As soon as Luna came running around the corner and Cash got her, I knew that was going to be the one because they instantly went to each other.”  

Cash Howard is excited to be able to bring Luna home. Luna has four more months of training until she will graduate, and the Howards can bring her to Holly Pond for good. The Howards will bring Luna to their home for a week in January to get her acclimated to the house and environment before she moves in. 

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