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SD Gunner Fund recognizes second BC student with award
Connor Downs.jpg
Connor Downs

This month, the SD Gunner Fund acknowledged local Bryan County student Connor Downs with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his dedicated service in 2018. Last year, he volunteered over 60 hours to veteran and military families by walking, grooming, and puppy socializing service animals that help give veterans and disabled children a better quality of life.

Connor, a Richmond Hill High School student, is an active member of the RHHS ROTC program. Being raised on inclusion and disability awareness played a significant role in his love of service animals, Connor found his niche volunteering with the SD Gunner Fund, which provided him with an opportunity to serve veterans, exceptional children and service animals.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted, permanent residents of the United States who have achieved a certain number of hours of service over a 12-month time period or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime. Earlier, the SD Gunner Fund acknowledged Richmond Hill Middle School sixth-grader Garrette Chesser with the same award.

“Connor Downs is an amazing young man that truly cares about others,” said SD Gunner Fund Founder and President Britnee Kinard. “He spends a significant amount of time with Liberty, a Dogo Argentino in Service Dog Training. He has played an integral part in getting her basic obedience together. I could not imagine a better person to nominate for this award.”

The SD Gunner Fund assists veterans and disabled children with the financial expenses of owning much needed service animals. For more information about the SD Gunner Fund, please visit

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