Making kids comfortable 3 years running

Published 7:47 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

Childcare and development is a large focus of the community, with local organizations such as E-CATCH and the Children’s Reading Foundation working year round to provided services to the regions young ones.

This Saturday, LMU invites the community to attend the third annual Josh and Friends Fundraiser for Pediatric Patients on at the LMU-Cumberland Gap Convention Center. Josh and Friends was initiated by the Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM) chapter of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA).

The event is hosted by students of the LMU-CVM and sponsored by Middlesboro ARH Hospital. The fundraiser will commence with a meet and greet at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and silent and live auctions at 6 p.m. All proceeds raised will benefit The Josh Project.

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Josh and Friends was created to alleviate stress and provide comfort to children in the hospital with the goal of transforming nervous hospital stays into a chance at friendship with a more positive outlook on what many children dread.

Every year, the LMU-CVM chapter of SAVMA holds a silent auction to raise money to purchase boxes from The Josh and Friends Foundation to be taken to local hospitals and given to children patients. Each box includes a stuffed dog named “Josh” and a book that helps children during the uncomfortable parts of being in the hospital.

“This is a truly rewarding way for LMU and its students to come together with the community to raise money for a cause that will benefit the children of this area,” Cortney Curtis, LMU-CVM Class of 2020 and SAVMA representative.

“The LMU veterinary students have done a tremendous job in fostering the human-animal bond through the Josh and Friends Project. The project strives to provide plush animal companionship to hospitalized children, helping to alleviate a stressful situation,” said LMU-CVM Executive Associate Dean Dr. John Dascanio. “The power of an animal connection and the dedication to society by students are evident through this program.”

Several local businesses have donated baskets and auction items that will be up for bid. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at: For questions, contact Courtney Curtis at or Michelle Mendoza at Donations will be accepted as well.