Welcome to Dixie Land Guide Dog Users Online, and Top Dog-2019!

We Dixie Land Guide Dog Users are the South Carolina affiliate of Guide Dog Users, Inc. Our tails are wagging! Due to the amazing response to our Top Dog-Charleston, 2019, our event hotel is booked to capacity and we are no longer taking registrations. Our heartfelt thanks to all of our registered attendees! We can't wait to see you in January!
For those of you who cannot attend in person, keep those ears up and stay tuned for our recorded sessions to be announced!

Contact the Dixie Land Guide Team!

Contact the Dixie Land Guide Team!
Dixie Land GDU, Inc., 1608 Acacia St., Charleston, SC 29407 (843) 571-0737

We provide education for the sighted community and peer mentoring with advocacy for the blindness community (guide dog, cane and sighted guide users alike), while promoting one community at large.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hot Dog! It's Top Dog!

It's coming! It's coming! It's coming! Hot dog! It's Top Dog!

Top Dog Savannah is scheduled for January 11, 12 and 13, 2013. While
plans are currently being fine-tuned, Top Dog Savannah is sure to be
top notch. Start packing your bags and pinching your pennies, and tell
your friends to do the same.

Savannah, Georgia, here we come!

More details coming soon!

Keeping Families Focused

Dixie Landers and friends gather at bowling outing

On a Saturday morning in February, Dixie Landers, friends and families of Lowcountry blind youth gathered at Charleston’s AMF Lanes on Savannah Hwy. for the first of ten weeks of bowling! This unique and wonderful outreach was introduced by Peggy Sudol, one of our sighted members who is also an active team member of Dragon Boat Charleston. DBC enjoys bowling on their off-season and this year, the team voted to sponsor a league which would represent the blindness community.

Shelby with dragon boat team members

It was agreed that this league would be inclusive rather than exclusive. We encouraged blind participants young and old to bring sighted family members for an outing of fun and fellowship! Bowlers ranged in age from seven to seventy-five. Dragon Boat Charleston, AMF Lanes and Dixie Land GDU worked together to provide free games, ball and shoe rental for up to 15 people each week. The ten-week bowling outing began and ended with a pizza party, and as a special treat, DBC provided participants with complimentary custom-fitted bowling balls (and bags) for keeps!

eight-year-old Blaze bowling

Our youngest bowlers were seven and eight years old. Eight-year-old Blaze (who is sighted) enjoyed perfecting his skills on the lanes.

seven-year-old Dalton bowling with his dad

Meanwhile, seven-year-old Dalton’s dad, David, introduced his son to the game, made accessible to him by bumpers and a bowling ramp (the rail seen in front of him in the picture).

Laurel preparing to bowl

Our Secretary/Treasurer, Laurel Jean, used Slim (her long, white cane) to line up with the lane in front of her. Laurel has the unique ability to score a gutter ball even with the bumpers up!

In February, Dixie Land hosted and sponsored a picnic at James Island County Park with food, fellowship and fun for all ages. Thanks again to Peter Smith and the Charleston Fliers who made this picnic day extra special with tandem bike rides for everyone!

Our bowling outing and picnic were so successful that Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, Inc. is proud to announce our latest initiative, “Keeping Families Focused.” We know firsthand that blindness affects the entire family. Our goal in creating this initiative is to offer more activities which include everyone and keep families focused on the core unit of the family, rather than the disability of just one member.

Thanks also to other sponsors, Retina Consultants of Charleston and The Association for the Blind of South Carolina, we have already scheduled our first official outing, a very unique “hands-on” art exhibit and workshop.

Stay tune for more posts, and thanks for your ongoing support.

Paws 4 an update!

Dixie Land officers Audrey, Taylor and Laurel

Pictured here are Dixie Land officers, President Audrey Gunter with guide Jesse, Vice President Taylor Jones Stebbins with long white cane Thumper, and Secretary/Treasurer Laurel Jean with long white cane Slim. Thanks to all of the dedicated members of Dixie Land Guide Dog Users Inc., along with our generous volunteers and sponsors, our “Paws 2 Educate” Initiative keeps going and growing! In early November, we had the privilege of presenting for Boy Scouts in the Charleston area as they prepared for their Disabilities Awareness Badges. The boys asked a lot of really great questions as Audrey discussed guide dogs, Taylor demonstrated access technology and Laurel Jean shared her music, along with interesting facts about cane travel and Braille. Scouts learned about guide dog etiquette and how to serve as a sighted guide for someone with limited or no vision.

Laurel at piano as Audrey stands beside her with Audrey's guide Jesse

Later in November, we were honored to partner with one of our: gold sponsors,” the Association for the Blind of South Carolina at a special Holiday Drop-In hosted by the Association.

Dixie Land's display table

As Laurel Jean provided dinner music for all who attended this event, Taylor and Audrey manned Dixie Land’s exhibit table.

Laurel sings with ten-year-old Taengkwa as ten-year-old Jessie plays the piano.

Dixie Land GDU continues to encourage and support blind youth in the Lowcountry and beyond. In December, Laurel Jean took our “Paws 2 Educate” Initiative on the road in her traveling music ministry. At St. Lucas United Church of Christ in Fort Branch, Indiana, she presented a special Christmas concert to help that area’s Parents and Teachers of Blind Children raise funds on their “Road to Dallas” (the summer, 2012 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind).

Laurel reads Scripture at Mt. Zion General Baptist Church

At another of her Indiana church engagements, Mt. Zion General Baptist Church in Wadesville, Laurel also introduced Dixie Land and our “Paws 2 Educate” Initiative to God’s kids of all ages. Laurel Jean arrived back in South Carolina just in time for the Christmas Party of the Association for the Blind, where she was our featured guest entertainer. Dixie Land believes that in the promotion and sponsorship of blind entrepreneurs, we can help to create a positive presence of the blindness community among the community at large. Watch your inbox for more posts like this one, and thanks again for your ongoing prayers and support!

About Us

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Charleston, SC, United States
Dixie Land Guide Dog Users is the South Carolina Affiliate of Guide Dog Users, Inc., the largest guide dog-related organization In the United States.