WILMINGTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A local Marblehead-based non-profit is hosting a motorcycle ride to benefit first responders on Sunday. It's the 7th annual ride for the Kennek Foundation, the makers of "Trouble the Dog." Trouble is a stuffed plush animal that the foundation donates to young children in life crises to help comfort them.
Sheila Duncan is the founder of the Kennek Foundation — Trouble the Dog was first thought up by Duncan's niece after the 12-year-old had lost her grandmother, father and dog to cancer in quick succession. Inspired by a commercial for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Duncan's niece sketched out Trouble, a cartoon dog, and the rest was history.
Duncan said the stuffed dogs are a distraction to children who are in tough situations, like being removed from their home or needing to testify in court. The stuffed toys are used by law enforcement agencies like local police and the Boston branch of the FBI, which recently honored Duncan. Some of the money from Sunday's ride will benefit local first responders, and result in a hundred donated Trouble dogs to comfort local children in bad situations.
"Our motorcycle riders are spectacular human beings," said Duncan. "They step up to the plate." The riders gather at the Shriners Auditorium Sunday at 10:00 AM, and the ride itself begins at 11:00.
WBZ's Tina Gao (@TinaGaoOnAir) interviewed Duncan about the ride and the Kennek Foundation: