Naples, Fl (August 9, 2019). Youth Haven will be hosting their inaugural pet awareness event, Paws4Kids, in honor of their therapy dogs; Houston and Champ. The event will be held on Saturday, August 17th from 9am to noon at the Mercato Lawn at 9132 Strada Place, Naples, FL 34108. At 11:00 a.m., Youth Haven will be hosting a Trendy Tails Fashion Show, featuring Houston and Champ, with awards going to the top three participants. Youth Haven is excited to announce their three celebrity judges for the fashion show: Carmelo Blandino, Rodney George, and Patricia Gifford!

Carmelo Blandino’s paintings have been featured in galleries in NYC, Palm Beach and Naples, in Carmel, Indiana, Atlanta and in Milwaukee, as well as in Stockholm, Toronto and Montreal. His works have been acquired by the Brenau Museum in Gainseville Georgia and exhibited at the Baker Museum in Naples. With an avid following of not only collectors but also student artists, Blandino pays forward his gifts as teacher and guide, conducting workshops in drawing and painting. In homage to his forefathers and in service to a deeply held personal mantra, Carmelo Blandino endeavors as artist to speak through his work – heart to hand, then to the eye, then on into very the heart of the beholder.

Rodney George, along with his wife Lisa, has traveled the world and built a travel consulting business around sharing their knowledge and expertise to assist their clients in seeing the world, in style. World travelers for a combined 80 years allows them to assist their clients in planning travel adventures brought to life by their experiences. Their experiences around the world, combined with the tremendous “clout” of the Cruise Planners and American Express brands make planning your next vacation with them a win-win for you and your family and friends.

Commander Patricia Gifford, a resident of Collier County for over 35 years, is a Commander at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. She has served Collier County since 1996 and currently oversees the Community Engagement Department, focusing on building strong relationships and partnerships within Collier County. Commander Gifford holds a Bachelors from Florida Gulf Coast University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In 2015 she completed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Senior Leadership Academy. Commander Gifford’s husband, K9- Sergeant William Gifford, is a 22-year member of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. Together they instill the values of peace, justice and compassion to their son and in their duties of caring for the K9’s while on the job and during retirement.

Youth Haven is grateful for Carmelo Blandino, Rodney George, and Patricia Gifford’s time and contribution to making their Paws4Kids event successful!

About Youth Haven

Youth Haven, a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6-18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children and Education Foundation grant recipient, and has been in continuous operation since 1972. For more information, visit, like our Facebook page,, follow us on Twitter, @YouthHavenCS and Instagram @youthhaven.