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Debra Gelbart
July 22, 2017

A former Navy SEAL helped by the founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation is donating unparalleled guided action adventures to the Foundation’s 15th Annual Charity Golf Classic’s live auction.

American hero James “Jimmy” Hatch has quite a back story.

Hatch was part of a mission to rescue an Army sergeant who casually walked away from his post in Afghanistan. Hatch has mostly put that experience behind him but he would do it again, he said, despite suffering a devastating leg injury from enemy fire. “He’s an American and he has a mom,” Hatch says emphatically, without hesitating.

As a member of the task force sent to extract Bowe Bergdahl in July 2009 after Bergdahl’s capture by the Taliban, Hatch was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. And, thanks to caring family and friends, yoga and regular workouts at the gym, Hatch has successfully recovered most of the function of his right leg, the one shattered during the rescue mission. He’s also discovered a new purpose for his life.

Hatch, 50, spent more than two decades in what’s known as Naval Special Warfare. Three years ago, he met Roger E. Magowitz, founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation, and that introduction helped Hatch give back even more.

Because his canine companion, Remco—a specially trained K9 officer—was killed during the attempted Bergdahl rescue mission, Hatch was moved in 2013 to start a nonprofit foundation to help working dogs and their handlers in police departments across the country.

Connection to the Seena Magowitz Foundation

His foundation, Spikes K9 Fund, led Hatch to ask Magowitz for advice on operating a nonprofit, fundraising organization. The two were introduced by a mutual friend, Jim Duncan.

Now, Hatch is generously donating a package of outdoor adventures to the live auction that will be part of the 15th Annual Seena Magowitz Golf Classic in Boston August 26-28, 2017. The three activities that are part of the package are intended for one bidder looking for thrills the bidder might not ordinarily seek out, Hatch said. With help from K9 officer Jim Duncan, Hatch will be the instructor or leader for all of the activities. They include:

  1. A tandem parachute jump;
  2. An experience with trained working dogs; and
  3. Small arms training.

“Here’s the thing about jumping out of an airplane,” Hatch said. “You may have a lot of problems in your life, but once you leave that plane, you only have one. It really helps you clear your head and I recommend it to everyone.”

He also will help the winning bidder understand firsthand how important the work of a trained police dog is, as he showed CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview in September 2015. In addition, he will take the winning bidder into a forested area near his home in Norfolk, Virginia to teach them how to safely use a handgun and a long gun. He hopes the opening bid for this package of activities will be at least $2,500. The adventures are intended to be enjoyed by one or two people; the package does not include transportation or lodging.

Experience The Thrills of A Lifetime

Roger Magowitz points out what a bargain the experiences would be. “To be able to spend time with Jimmy Hatch, who can command upwards of $25,000 per speaking engagement, is rare, indeed,” he said. “We are so grateful for Jimmy’s genuine interest in joining our crusade to one day eradicate pancreatic cancer.”

All proceeds will go to the Seena Magowitz Foundation. “I have so much admiration for Roger because he established this foundation in memory of his mother, who died of pancreatic cancer,” Hatch said. “And I would like to see as much money as possible go to the Magowitz Foundation so it can continue sponsoring important research into the causes of and treatments for pancreatic cancer.”

“This package of adventures is not for the faint of heart,” Magowitz said. “In fact, I would suggest it’s an adrenaline enthusiast’s dream, perfect for someone who loves ‘living on the edge.’ If you’re the winning bidder, you’ll have the option of doing just one of these adventures, two of them or all three.”

Picture jumping out of a plane “in tandem with a decorated combat veteran who, before and after that experience, will tell you about real combat situations,” Magowitz said.

“You’ll also discover why trained canines are called ‘fur missiles’ as one charges toward you and clamps its jaw around your arm that’s completely protected by special padding, all under the watchful eye of someone who’s an expert on the battlefield,” Magowitz said. “That’s an experience that can’t be duplicated. And the thought of a trained Navy SEAL working with you to fire weapons is just surreal. Not only are you fulfilling a dream, but 100 percent of your winning bid goes to the Foundation.

“I am so appreciative of Jimmy’s unique contributions to our live auction,” Magowitz continued. “His life’s work has taught him enormous compassion and through his generosity, he is helping more people than even he can imagine. He has taken a tragic combat situation and has figured out a way to personally mend physically and mentally by giving back to K9s that have been his lifetime passion and his partners in combat.”

The K9 Fund Finds Success

In part because of Roger Magowitz’s guidance and advice, Hatch already has helped about 330 dogs since he established his foundation four years ago. The mission of Spikes K9 Fund is threefold: 1) to provide training and equipment—including GPS transponders, bullet-proof vests and heat alarms—for search and rescue dogs that police departments rely on (bullet-proof vests for police dogs cost approximately $2,500 apiece); 2) to help with the medical expenses of wounded or injured working dogs or current or retired working dogs who become ill; and 3) to build a sanctuary for retired K9 officers, because they can’t be adopted in the same way a dog not affiliated with police or military work is. “These working dogs need special handling after they retire,” Hatch explained. “They’re not typically docile dogs that can go to live with families.”

How To Help Both Foundations

The 15th Annual Seena Magowitz Annual Golf Classic will be held August 26-28, 2017.

See Annual Seena Golf Classic

Donate To Jimmy Hatch’s K9 Fund

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