Dyer Difference Award honors compassion and service

CEO Joe Rathnam, COO Jenna Radtke, Dyer sales manager Shannon Kinnett, and sales manager Dallas Steiger.

“Providing for our protectors” is the mission of K9 Strong, a Port St. Lucie nonprofit organization which helps to supply safety and training equipment to law enforcement K9 teams, locally and nationally. K9 Strong was founded in 2019 after the tragic line-of-duty death of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office K9 Cigo, shot and killed during a Christmas Eve 2018 criminal apprehension at Wellington Green Mall. K9 Strong, Inc. has assisted nearly 175 K9 teams nationwide, and approximately 25 K9 teams in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. The organization provides a variety of aid items, including everything from ballistic vests and first aid kits to specialized odor detection training equipment and infrared beacons, building a relationship with K9 handlers and helping to tailor donations to suit the K9 and handlers’ specific needs.

For example, in 2022, K9 Strong, Inc. received an emergency call regarding K9 Bandit of the Belmont (NC) Police Department, who had suddenly fallen ill with a heat-related injury. As veterinary costs mounted, K9 strong garnered $13,000 in community support to cover Bandit’s veterinary costs. Bandit has since made a full recovery, is back working the road, and has made several high profile criminal apprehensions and narcotics busts. Inspired by this experience, K9 strong established “The Bandit Fund,” earmarked specifically for emergency use. Bandit Fund”. This will open up an additional avenue of preparedness for K9 Strong, Inc. to “Provide for Protectors” in their most dire hours of need.

When we’re not feeling well, we can’t possibly do our best at work or in school. And while most of us don’t think twice about scheduling a doctor’s appointment or making a stop at an urgent care facility for proper diagnosis and treatment to help put us on the path to recovery and a return to productivity, it’s not that simple for those who have no insurance. For them, visiting a doctor or scheduling a preventive diagnostic test often means the difference between making the rent payment or feeding the family. In Vero Beach, the We Care program coordinates diagnostics, medical care, and treatment for hundreds of qualified patients who are uninsured.  We Care coordinates volunteers to provide diagnostic testing and/or specialty medical treatment, including cardiology, dermatology, neurology, general surgery, oncology, and more. More than 300 individuals have received assistance through this program and its generous volunteer donors and providers. During the month known for love and caring, the Dyer Difference Award Committee has chosen to recognize the compassionate care being offered in Indian River County.

The Dyer Difference Award is all about celebrating the beauty and kindness in our midst. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations made monthly between the St. Lucie and Indian River Counties are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you’d like to nominate a non-profit organization for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit www.dyerdifference.org or find Dyer Difference on Facebook.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]