2022 Jack Warnock Award Honoring Outstanding Volunteerism

A smiling woman hugging a yellow lab puppy in a blue service capeEach year, the Canine Companions national board awards the Jack Warnock Award to six deserving volunteers. The award, named for graduate and passionate volunteer, Jack Warnock, recognizes outstanding volunteerism. We are pleased to announce that Diesta Gundacker of Winter Park, Florida, has been awarded the Jack Warnock Award for 2022, along with five regional winners of this prestigious award.

Diesta came to Canine Companions because she wanted her children to experience giving back to the community in a way that would be tangible. In 1999, she received and raised her first Canine Companions future service dog, Tempo, and, nearly 25 years later, she is raising Sota, her 17th puppy .

However, Diesta’s involvement doesn’t end with puppy raising. For decades, Diesta has assisted Canine Companions as a volunteer professional photographer. Her stunning images showcase our mission throughout our materials, and she has photographed dozens of graduation ceremonies, hundreds of puppies entering professional training and more.

In addition, Diesta has been involved in the planning of the Southeast Region’s annual Tales & Tails Gala since 1999. Last year, she was responsible for soliciting and securing 40% of sponsors for the event.

We want to congratulate Diesta and the five regional award winners for their achievements, and we are honored to have such amazing and dedicated individuals supporting our vital cause.

Congratulations to Our Winners:

Southeast Region – Diesta Gundacker, Jack Warnock Award
North Central Region – Catherine Rupp
Northeast Region – Eva LaMere
Northwest Region – Laura de Rutte
South Central Region – Debbie Byrne
Southwest Region – Sheryl Ishizaki

Read more about the Jack Warnock Award winners across the country by clicking here.