Leader Dog Loses Two Dear Friends and Board Members

Published in: Update - Issue 3 - 2017 »   

Recently, the Leader Dog team lost two long-standing members of our Board of Trustees—Tom McNulty and Debbie Dayton. Tom and Debbie were both fiercely passionate about the Leader Dog mission, working to help us positively impact the lives of our clients.

Tom McNulty

April 10, 1939–August 28, 2017

Tom served on our Board of Trustees for 25 years! He was a tremendous leader and a major catalyst for the significant and meaningful changes Leader Dog made throughout his tenure. Tom was integral in the hiring of our first-ever chief financial officer, establishing governance practices, implementing term limits for Trustees and establishing the Leader Dogs for the Blind Foundation.

In addition to his passionate leadership, Tom and his family supported Leader Dog generously and steadfastly through their philanthropy. The McNultys made significant gifts for both the residence and the canine development center, provided support for general operations, attended many events and introduced new people to the organization. His guidance, dedication and friendship will be greatly missed.

Debbie Dayton

January 4, 1954–August 11, 2017

Debbie began her connection with Leader Dog in September 2001 when she was matched with her first Leader Dog, Joshua. Over the next 16 years, she was matched with Leader Dog Patrick and recently with Leader Dog Desmond. All three of Debbie’s cherished Leader Dogs were male golden retrievers.

Debbie was appointed to our Board of Trustees in 2005. In this role, and in her role as an active Lion, Debbie was an outstanding ambassador for Leader Dog, our clients and our canines. She attended district and state Lions conventions, gave keynote speeches at multiple events each year and served as a Lions District Leader Dog Chair for over 10 years.

Debbie also took time to mentor many potential Leader Dog clients. We referred numerous individuals to her for support and information, both about working with a Leader Dog and living with loss of sight in general. Debbie had a wonderful way of calming fears and providing support while answering questions and giving great information and insight. Many clients made the decision to come to Leader Dog as a result of a conversation with Debbie. Her kind demeanor, giving spirit, positive outlook and determination to succeed will forever remain as part of her legacy.