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9-11 survivor and best selling author speaks at Hartwick

By WKTV News

ONEONTA, NY – Michael Hingson, 9-11 survivor, Guide Dogs for the Blind owner, and author of the #1 New York Times best-selling book, THUNDER DOG: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero visited Hartwick College Friday.

Prior to the lecture, which was held in the Anderson Theatre, Hingson participated in other events on campus throughout the day on Friday, including a Leadership Development workshop with Hartwick College Staff and Student Leaders.

Hingson’s life changed dramatically on September 11, 2001 when he and his guide dog, Roselle, escaped from the 78th floor of Tower One in the World Trade Center moments before it collapsed. Soon after, he began to share his unique survival story and 9-11 lessons of trust, courage, heroism, and teamwork. During his time at Hartwick, Hingson will speak about the importance of teamwork and trust in our professional and personal lives, the human-animal bond, the power of trust and more.

Hingson’s #1 New York Times best-selling book, THUNDER DOG: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero was released in August, 2011 and gives readers an unprecedented look at how a guide dog team works and how blind people can be just as successful as our “light dependent colleagues”. Hingson has also recently released a new book for children ages 8+ titled Running with Roselle. The work is a story of Hingson’s childhood and of Roselle's puppy years and was penned to inspire readers – both children and adults alike – to overcome challenges and obstacles they may face.

Hingson is a former member of the California State Guide Dog Board and has served on several other prominent agency boards throughout his career.  Presently he serves as secretary to the Marin County Senior Coordinating Council and is a member of the board of directors of the Colorado Center for the Blind and of the National Federation of the Blind of California. In November, 2008, Hingson was appointed a National Ambassador for the Braille Literacy Campaign of the National Federation of the Blind. On October 1, 2011 Hingson and Roselle were honored by the American Humane Association with the 2011 Hero Dog Award. Hingson is currently an Ambassador for the American Humane Association.

Hingson lives in Northern California with his wife, Karen, Africa, Hingson’s seventh guide dog, and Fantasia, Africa’s mother and a retired breeder dog for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The events were hosted by the Hartwick College Guiding Eyes for the Blind Club and was put together by Rebecca Bierhoff ’14, president and founder of the GEB.

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