Shelter to Soldier is Saving Lives, Two at a Time at the 12th Annual Be the Light Gala on August 18th, 2024

June 12, 2024

Every day, an average of seventeen US veterans and at least one active-duty service member is lost to suicide. That’s an average of one life lost every 80 minutes. PTSD is a major battle for our men and women in uniform, and its effects last far and beyond the battlefield.

Shelter to Soldier (STS) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and rescue organizations and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma. STS also places emotional support animals with veterans and active-duty military and deploys the STS Canine Ambassadors, a team of certified therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers, to provide visits of love and comfort to local military, veterans and their families.

You are invited to support Shelter to Soldier by attending its 12th Annual “Be the Light Gala” presented by Subaru, USA, on Sunday, August 18th, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., at L’Auberge Del Mar. In 2023, the program raised a NET $287,177 in lifesaving funds for the rescue dogs and veterans served by the mission, setting the bar for their fundraising goal in 2024.

Shelter to Soldier’s largest annual fundraiser raises critical funds to support its programs that serve military, veterans, and homeless dogs in need of a forever home and life of purpose.

Guests will enjoy musical entertainment by the Tim Apple Band, small bites, libations, silent auction, three-course dinner overlooking the Pacific Ocean, swag bags, and memorable moments with veteran recipients and the Shelter to Soldier staff. Beer, wine, and Shelter to Soldier specialty cocktails will be provided to all guests. 

The evening will include an exciting silent and live auction emceed by auctioneer Clint Bell, and all proceeds from the event will benefit the organization’s service dog, emotional support animal and therapy dog programs for US Veterans. Other major sponsors include C.W. Driver (Platinum Sponsor), Cox Communications and UNITE (Silver Sponsors).

Every year, our nation sees approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters. More than half of those animals are dogs, at 3.9 million every year. This year alone, 1.2 million dogs will be euthanized due to space, behavioral problems, or medical complications.

Shelter to Soldier saves the lives of dogs destined for a greater purpose, and through the program’s dedication to veteran mental health, aims to provide lifesaving support to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. These rescued companions help veterans integrate back into society and find their purpose, often for the first time since their military service. By training dogs from rescues and shelters, Shelter to Soldier saves many dogs from being euthanized each year and, in turn, pairs them with veterans and active military in need of psychiatric service dogs or emotional support animals. . . Saving Lives, Two at a Time.

For more information about tickets, table reservations, sponsorships and to donate silent and live auction items, please visit or email Kyrié Bloem at


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