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Canine Companions for Independence and Prudential Financial Team Up at 2014 Special Olympics USA Games!

Thousands of volunteers support athletes at games beginning June 16th in Mercer County, New Jersey


When 24-year-old Kim Batnick sets out to volunteer at the Special Olympics USA Games, she’ll be one of many volunteers. But Kim, from Beachwood, New Jersey, has cerebral palsy and getting around large group settings can be a challenge. Fortunately Kim will be able to navigate without worry. Her assistance dog Orson will be by her side, picking up any items she might drop along the way like her keys or cell phone, opening doors and being her loyal companion.

Canine Companions for Independence is the nation’s largest provider of highly trained assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with physical and developmental disabilities. Along with their corporate partner Prudential Group Insurance, a business unit of New Jersey-based Prudential Financial, Inc., they’ll be among the thousands of volunteers supporting the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.

“Prudential is thrilled to be on the ground at the Special Olympics with our partner, Canine Companions for Independence. The event provides a wonderful opportunity for us to partner and see firsthand the value the organization brings and the smiles and services they provide to disabled individuals in need,” said Jeanna Cavanagh, vice president, marketing, Prudential Group Insurance.

Kim’s assistance dog Orson is an 8-year-old Labrador and golden retriever cross who has been trained to respond to over 40 commands. Orson assists Kim every day by opening and closing drawers and doors, turning on and off light switches, and retrieving items out of her reach.

Kim and her family are tireless supporters of Canine Companions for Independence, and are now volunteer puppy raisers for the organization as well, raising puppy Ocho who was recently placed with a 10-year-old Virginia girl with intellectual disabilities. Kim and her family are currently raising their second Canine Companions puppy, Davis.

Kim says Canine Companions and the Special Olympics have similar goals: promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion of all people with disabilities. “Our family is looking forward to the Special Olympics, and meeting all the athletes and fans.”

Prudential announced at the beginning of the year that they signed on as a Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and Presenting Sponsor of the Games’ Healthy Athletes Experience, which provides free comprehensive health screenings to the Games’ nearly 3,500 athletes. The Games is underway through June 21 throughout Mercer County, New Jersey.

Visit assistance dogs and puppies at the Prudential Group Insurance booth June 16-19 in Mercer County Park located at 1050 Hughes Drive in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. To learn more about Canine Companions visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.

About Prudential:

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1.1 trillion of assets under management as of March 31, 2014, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit


Canine Companions for Independence is the largest non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs with five training centers across the country. Established in 1975, Canine Companions provides highly trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, its training and on-going follow-up services. For more information, visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.


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