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The Charles H. Kaman Campaign



Aviation, music and dogs. These were the disparate passions of Fidelco Guide Dogs' founder, Charles H. "you can call me Charlie" Kaman, whose 100th birth date anniversary is celebrated this year. 

In honoring the anniversary of Charlie’s birth, we reflect on his larger-than-life legacy that still flourishes nearly 60 years after the first German Shepherd Dog puppies were born at his home in 1960.
As a serial inventor and innovator, Charlie achieved the extraordinary by turning each of these passions into successful business ventures. Charlie was an inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and received numerous awards throughout his lifetime, but his enduring legacy is much more than personal achievement. Because of Charlie, thousands of lives have been transformed through partnerships with elite Fidelco German Shepherd guide dogs. Individuals, families and communities are different today because of Charlie’s vision all those years ago. 
“It came down to the helicopters, guitars and dogs.”
—C. William “Bill” Kaman, son of Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation’s founder
Legend has it that the seed for what would become Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation was planted when tragedy almost struck Charlie’s young son, Bill, during a family outing. He ran out into a busy parking lot when the family’s newly adopted German Shepherd Dog leapt from the car and quickly intercepted, creating a barrier between an oncoming vehicle and Bill.
This near-miss inspired Charlie and his wife, Roberta, to explore how the intelligence and intuition of these special dogs could benefit others. At their home, the Kamans began breeding German Shepherd Dogs from exclusive East and West German bloodlines for stamina, health and intelligence. They gave these dogs to other guide dog organizations from 1960–1980, when they established the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation as a breeding and training organization and placed the initial five Fidelco German Shepherd guide dogs.
The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Fidelco Guide Dogs is a recognized leader in the guide dog industry and still the only guide dog organization to exclusively breed the German Shepherd Dog. More than 1,500 guide dogs have been placed throughout North America and in six Canadian provinces. The Kamans’ backyard has indeed grown.
We are honored to be stewards of Charlie’s dream and privileged to ensure those of our clients never stop coming true. On behalf of the clients, volunteers and staff at Fidelco Guide Dogs—Happy Birthday, Charlie. Thank you for your passion, your vision and your belief in exceptional dogs and people.  


Donate today to The Charles H. Kaman Campaign to ensure Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation continues to deliver guide dog programs and services of the highest quality while honoring Charlie’s commitment to innovation. 


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