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  Jul 26 2020 . Chicago, IL, USA

The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation's mission is to foster awareness, understanding and research for Bipolar Disorder, a serious mental illness characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression – behaviors that significantly interfere with living a normal, healthy life.

Since its founding over 15 years ago, the Foundation has been on a QUEST FOR THE TEST™ to find an empirical biomarker test for Bipolar Disorder so that early detection and early intervention become a reality.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s disruptive and unprecedented challenges have been felt worldwide, impacting nearly every sector of society, and in particular, charitable giving. Since our critical work must continue, the Foundation had to think creatively and seek alternative ways to generate support during these uncertain times.

If there has been an upside to the pandemic, it’s that animal shelters have had the lowest occupancy rates in history – a testament to how comforting the love and companionship of our furry, four-legged friends can be, especially during times of stress.

There’s no substitute for the unconditional love, loyalty and joy pets can bring, and it is in that spirit that the Foundation decided to launch “DOG OF THE YEAR,” a GoFundMe "fun-raiser" and a "pawsitive" way to bring recognition to our best friends while helping the Foundation carry on with its mission.

The DOG OF THE YEAR campaign is intended to raise awareness and understanding about Bipolar Disorder. Participants are encouraged to create a “team,” or establish their own fundraiser by posting a photograph of their special dog that will compete with other dog teams/fundraisers across the county and vie for the DOG OF THE YEAR title.

The team or fundraiser that raises the most funds by December 31, 2020 will be declared the WINNER, and their “DOG OF THE YEAR” will receive:

- A special trophy

- Be highlighted on the Foundation's website

- Appear in a feature story in Stay Thirsty Magazine, which is read worldwide.

AND…  Susan Wilson, the New York Times bestselling author of seven books about dogs, will choose the best dog’s life story in the competition. The winner will receive:

- A trophy for the “Most Heartwarming or Amazing Life”

- Be highlighted on the Foundation's website

- Be the subject of a feature story appearing in Stay Thirsty Magazine.

Each team or fundraiser will be given two black and white Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation bipolar awareness pins that represent the opposite poles of mania and depression of Bipolar Disorder.

Second through fifth-place runners-up will receive two, custom-designed Foundation logo hats.

The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation sincerely appreciates and values ALL support of its efforts to change the course of Bipolar Disorder and everyone's help to reduce the stigma associated with this serious illness of the brain.  We hope you will stand up and be counted, raise a paw and participate in support of the Foundation’s quest to help millions of people and their families see a brighter day.

We thank you and wish you and your dog the best of luck.




The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation