Young puppies and seasoned canines gathered with their human friends to celebrate the 10th Annual Freedom Service Dogs Diamonds in the Ruff: The Great Barksby, a homage to the Roaring Twenties with many guests wearing their best 1920s attire.

FOX31 TV Anchor Chris Parente served as the emcee of the FSD signature event

The 10th Annual Diamonds in the Ruff “The Great Barksby” was Presented by The Harold Lee Charitable Foundation

Unlike last year’s online event the 2022 Freedom Service Dogs 10th Annual Diamonds in the Ruff Gala was held in-person Saturday, May 7, at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. FSD’s mission for decades has been to help transform the lives of people from many walks of life by matching people with custom-trained service dogs.

Emcee Chris Parente of KDVR/Fox31 kept the event moving throughout the evening including live demonstrations of service dogs in action, videos of clients grateful for their doggy service partners, and a live auction led by JJ Raterink to help boost donations. The annual event was Presented by The Harold Lee Charitable Foundation. Music for the reception was provided by Spinphony Electric Quartet.

Meanwhile President and CEO Michelle Ostrander officially announced her retirement with a bittersweet farewell and a special thanks to her staff, board, volunteers and guests.

The organization also thanked its many sponsors and donors who made the evening possible. Silver Sponsors: Noel and Erika Wickwar; Bronze sponsors: Dan and Stacey May; Denver Life Magazine; InBank; and Mile High Sports; and Media Sponsor: KDVR/FOX31. Among this year’s contributors include: Bird Dog Whiskey, Boodles British Gin, Jay’s Valet, Mile High Sports, Newberry Brothers Floral & Décor, Thompson Jewelers, Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Freedom Service Dog in training “Boogie” was a hit with guests

Since its founding in 1987 Freedom Service Dogs has matched service dogs with a wide range of people including veterans with PTSD, children and teens with autism and physical disabilities, and individuals with neurocognitive disabilities. Training each dog requires 18 months of training and costs more than $30K. Since its establishment the organization has placed more than 500 dogs with children and adults. To volunteer, donate or learn more about Freedom Service Dogs please visit.


Blacktie Colorado
Blacktie Colorado