2 Charities Raise Money for Community & Retired Military In Need

Two Charities Join Together in a Race to Raise Over $58,000 to help the Community & Retired Military In Need

Changing Lives Partners with Semper Fi Service Dogs for the First Annual Yuletide Trot 5K in Boca Raton

Yuletide trot 5k changing lives

January 20, 2024, marked the day of the rescheduled Yuletide Trot 5K in downtown Boca Raton, a race to benefit both Changing Lives and Semper Fi Service Dogs.  The morning was greeted with beautiful weather as 186 runners, walkers, and their dogs lined up for a morning of competition, support, and camaraderie.

Held at First United Methodist Church, the race presented a small festival of vendor booths featuring healthy juices and refreshments, breakfast bites, whole food doggie treats, and more, with bounce houses, ax throwing, music, and various fun interactive games.

Congratulations to Mitchell Levine of Pompano Beach for winning the 5K race with the fastest time earning the $2,500 prize. Other contests and prize winners included Otto Medina Vasquez, Orlando Ruiz, David Bateman, and Irma Pugachev rounding out the top 5 race finalists.  Although the race had been rescheduled from its original December 16th date, the Holiday “Best Dressed” contest awards went to Deby Goldfarb dressed as Mrs Claus and Otto Medina as The Grinch.  

Proceeds from the event will benefit both non-profit organizations.  For Changing Lives, the support will help the organization continue its mission to help transition the area’s homeless population back into the workforce and self-sustaining lives.  Semper Fi Service Dogs received much-needed support to rescue and train service dogs for retired military personnel struggling with PTSD.

Over $58,000 was raised through sponsorship and race participation. Special thanks for the event sponsors including RBC Wealth Management (presenting sponsor), Boca Raton Fitness Center, CSSI, Dropship Vending, FormuKleen, Solid Rock Christian Church, Into the Blue Agency, All Star Martial Arts Academy, First United Methodist Church, Brammer, Gold Coast Web Design, SNS Staging, Cheryl & Jay, CJM Construction, Rack Electric, the Dansiker Family, ISG Flooring, Waste Management, Investments Limited, Alley Cat Izakaya, Kixi Cafe, Health Smart MD, Retreat Behavioral Health, Coastal Waste & Recycling, and Living Green.

To help the organizations continue their mission, we invite you to volunteer or donate to help improve the lives of the less fortunate in our communities, please visit www.changinglives.me and www.semperfiservicedogs.org.


Changing Lives of Boca Raton Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women, men, and families struggling with homelessness in Boca Raton & neighboring cities. In addition to the spiritual and practical guidance to our members, Changing Lives provides assistance with scholarships for sober living facilities and detox, housing stipends, costs for mental and physical care, personal documentation, and endowments for business start-ups for our clients. Our mission is to meet immediate basic needs and offer access to transitional services that empower individuals to regain control of their lives. Learn more about our mission & how to volunteer or get involved at www.changinglives.me.


About Semper Fi Service Dogs:

Semper Fi Service Dogs is dedicated to training service dogs for veterans and those in need with disabilities. Each dog is rescued then individually trained to perform tasks that mitigate their handler’s disability and restore the Veterans physical and emotional independence. More than a service dog provider, SFSD provides a continuum of peer support, resources and accountability. Veterans can return to their communities with a new “leash” on life as productive citizens who make a positive difference. Sadly, an average of twenty-two Veterans take their own life every day.  A specially trained PTSD dog can provide a sense of security, help manage anxiety or panic attacks and assist with specialized task work. With each graduate pair, we save two lives; the dog and the person in need. Learn more about our mission & how to support our cause at www.semperfiservicedogs.org.


Media Contacts: (561) 299-3381

Lauren Ricks, Into the Blue Agency 



Sharon Patterson, Into the Blue Agency