Barking up the right tree: Holiday Retirement invests in Pet therapy to boost seniors’ Health and Happiness

Leading senior living provider welcomes furry and feathered companions to improve residents’ quality of life

Lake Oswego, OR, April 10, 2015 — Holiday Retirement is turning to four-legged caregivers to improve its residents’ lives. Recognizing that animals have a singularly positive impact on the lives of its residents, the senior living provider, which operates more than 300 communities across the United States, has become increasingly dedicated to finding ways to involve animals in seniors’ lives. Holiday Retirement encourages the use of therapy pets in its communities, operates pet-friendly communities, and has just launched a series of resources focused on helping seniors connect with pets.

Increasingly, pet-friendly senior living has become a sought-after option among retirement communities across the United States. It is no surprise, given that animal companionship has proven to improve seniors’ health, reduce anxiety and depression, and even help seniors live longer lives.

“Holiday Retirement strives to provide the optimal environment for residents of our senior living communities, which is why we are dedicated to helping seniors connect with animals,” said Harvey Brownlee, chief operating officer for Holiday Retirement. “The unconditional love an animal companion provides can help ease the transition into retirement living, provide ongoing companionship, and improve overall quality of life.”

According to one of the earliest studies on pet therapy, spending time with animals helps increase longevity. A study published in 1980 showed that heart attack patients who owned pets lived longer than those who did not. More recently, a 2005 research project from UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles found that a 12-minute visit with dogs helped heart and lung function and decreased anxiety.

Here are four examples of the ways in which Holiday Retirement communities have connected their residents with therapeutic access to animals.

1. Cats and dogs may be considered the “usual suspects” as therapy pets, but for residents at Jordan Oaks in Cary, North Carolina, miniature horses provide smiles and a dose of nostalgia. Today’s seniors often grew up in small towns or rural areas where riding horses was a common pastime; seeing and interacting with the miniature horses from Horse Hugs brings back special memories.

2. At Kittery Estates in Kittery, Maine, residents know firsthand how much a therapy dog can help increase socialization and minimize feelings of depression. Their weekly visits from Canine Companion Organization are filled with smiles and laughter. One resident even takes the opportunity to leave her wheelchair to sit on the floor with the dogs.

3. For residents of River’s Edge in Savannah, Georgia, tropical birds make regular visits. Trained to be hands-on through “Wings of Joy,” these birds are a welcomed treat for residents – making themselves at home on seniors’ shoulders and performing special tricks.

4. At Astor House at Springbrook Oaks in Newberg, Oregon, therapy pets come in all shapes and sizes. From miniature ponies to a black lab named Cherokee, residents truly enjoy the regular visits from these animal friends. Additionally, residents have made trips out to a small ranch in Oregon where they feed and pet the horses. “I love the smell of horse on my hands; I don’t plan on washing my hands for a few days,” says one resident.

“For seniors who have pets, we want them to be able to have experiences in our communities that benefit their quality of life,” said Brownlee. “For those who do not have pets, therapy pets offer an alternative in which seniors can still get these benefits.”

Holiday Retirement is dedicated to helping seniors in every living situation experience the benefits of pet companionship. If you or a loved one are interested in adopting a pet for a senior, visit for a checklist, “Choosing the Perfect Pet for a Senior.” The checklist offers advice and tips for choosing a senior-friendly pet. Additionally, an infographic, “The Pet Perspective,” offers two- and four-legged friends’ viewpoint on why seniors make the best owners.

Media Contacts:
Brian K. Fawkes
Holiday Retirement
(971) 245-8837

About Holiday Retirement
Since 1971, Holiday Retirement has endeavored to provide its signature “Holiday Touch” to residents and their families. Today, Holiday is a trusted name in senior living and provides security, comfort, and value to independent seniors seeking a fulfilling lifestyle. Holiday operates more than 300 retirement communities, making it the second largest senior housing operator in the United States. For more information about Holiday Retirement, please call 800-322-0999 or visit

Molly Koch
Communications Strategy Group
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

Unique New Book, Charity The Gifts of Giving, Discusses Benefits Donors Receive from Giving

Avid philanthropist and budding author Garret Biss recently released a thought-provoking new book entitled “Charity The Gifts of Giving.”

New Bern, NC (USA), April 13th, 2015 — Avid philanthropist and budding author Garret Biss recently released a thought-provoking new book entitled “Charity The Gifts of Giving.” The unique book discusses how charitable giving, kindness and acts of generosity have an impact not just on recipients, but also on donors. Giving time, money and other resources generates positive energy, feelings of gratitude, a sense of control and many other benefits, according to the book.

Charitable giving is a concept everyone understands and often engages in, but people seldom consider—and discuss—the positive effect that practicing benevolence has on donors. This is the main impetus behind “Charity The Gifts of Giving,” says Biss. “My purpose for this book was to inspire more involvement with charity and selfless acts in everyone’s life,” he says. “If speaking about how these acts benefit us is one way to inspire greater generosity, then this is a story that must be told for the benefit of each of us and all of us.”

“Charity The Gifts of Giving” is designed to focus on a different perspective on philanthropy. The book contains a wealth of insights and information to help readers capitalize on the benefits of charitable giving. For example, it discusses how generosity can help combat anxiety and manage stress, practical ways to give on any budget, websites that help donors give quickly and easily in any way they choose, and how to create a more fulfilling life experience and more joyful interaction with others.

Biss’s book is available at, where it is already being well-received by readers. Here are just some of the favorable comments from reviewers:
* “I have already recommend this book to many of my friends and will continue to. It’s amazing how a simple act of kindness can promulgate happiness to everyone around the giver and the recipient, the message. I this book is simple but speaks volumes to the reader.” (Justin Lopez)
* “This is an inspiring, honest look at the impact of giving and generosity on one’s personal perspective, mindset, and life.” (Dawn Michel)
* “Biss shares a very interesting and unique spin on the act of giving and contribution. I especially liked the idea of making donations as a way of overcoming stress and even depression.” (Coach Bobby G)
* “After reading his book, I’m closer to walking in my purpose and he simply explains why we all should give of ourselves in order to make this a better world. So, take the opportunity to read this book, and your life just simply can’t be the same.” (Corey Prudie)
* “This was a great read and a great reflection on what is at the heart of giving.” (C and J)

“Charity The Gifts of Giving” is available on Amazon in three formats: Kindle for $3.99; audible audio edition for $6.08; and paperback for $8.95. The proceeds from each copy sold will be used to further the efforts of One Million Goal Inc. Established by Biss, One Million Goal Inc. is working to generate enough money and awareness to make a difference with the world’s water problem. As signified by its name, the goal of the non-profit organization is to bring drinking water to one million men, women and children. The need is great, as almost 750 million people lack access to clean drinking water and an estimated 1,700 children die every day from water-related illnesses before they reach their fifth birthday.

Biss has concentrated much of his philanthropic efforts toward addressing the world’s water crisis. His passion in this area is fueled by his belief that water is the most basic of human needs. Biss feels water is not only a necessity for life, but is also vital for making the world a better place. “Even if you have the seed, the soil and the sunshine, the miracle of life doesn’t begin until you add water,” he says. “Fighting tyranny, poverty or disease will provide no enduring cure for suffering if we don’t start by providing water.”

There is also a broader issue at stake, Biss says. “Not only is the water crisis a thirst issue, it is also a gender equality issue, a health issue, a poverty issue, an education issue, a terrorism issue, as well as many more issues,” he explains.

To learn more about Biss’s efforts to combat the world’s water problem, please visit

For more information about “Charity The Gifts of Giving” and the benefits of charitable giving, call 252-349-0054 or visit and

About Garret Biss:
Garret Biss is the author of “Charity The Gifts of Giving” and the founder of One Million Goal Inc. Biss is passionate about encouraging charitable giving, fighting the world’s water crisis and promoting lifelong learning. He also has a deep interest in the real estate industry. Currently, Biss is in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he has served his country since 1999 and is a KC-130J pilot by trade. In preparation for his transition from military service, Biss is pursuing a Master of Real Estate Development degree from Auburn University and intends to use this education and his experience as an investor and real estate broker to prepare for a future as a real estate developer and real estate investment manager. Biss, who grew up in Wilmington, Del., currently resides in New Bern, N.C.

Press & Media Contact:
Garret Biss, Author
New Bern, NC – USA
+1 252-349-0054

SmartTOP Roof Controller by Mods4cars Now Available for the New Porsche 911 Targa

Effective immediately the SmartTOP add-on roof controller made by Mods4cars is available for the new Porsche 911 Targa. It allows convenient one-touch operation of the Targa Top as well as opening and closing operation from the original key fob remote.

Las Vegas, NV (USA), April 13th, 2015 — Aftermarket automotive electronics specialist Mods4cars brings in the convertible top season with new product: The SmartTOP roof controller for the new Porsche 911 Targa is now available and makes using the Targa Top more fun with its intelligent and convenient features. The kit allows opening and closing with just a single tap on the console switch. Top operation completes fully automatically. It is no longer necessary to hold down the console switch for the entire time of the top cycle.

Additionally it is possible to control the Targa Top from the original factory key remote. “SmartTOP customers can open or close their top while approaching the car.” explains PR-Manager Sven Tornow. “This feature is particularly useful on hot days when it is nice to be able to air out the car before getting in. It is also a tremendous bonus to be able to close the top quickly from afar at the first sign of rainfall.” Sven Tornow continues. No change needs to be made to the original remote fobs.

Also the windows can be controlled, independently from the top, by remote. All functions and settings of the SmartTOP module can be configured to individual taste. The entire module can be temporarily disabled, if needed, while retaining all user settings for when it is re-enabled later.

Installation of the SmartTOP kit is extremely simple. “In a very short time and with very few steps the module is installed in the car.” Sven Tornow points out. “The included custom designed plug-and-play wiring adapter simply connects the SmartTOP to the vehicle electronics.” No wires need to be cut, spliced or soldered. Removal is possible at any time without leaving any trace or damage.

The SmartTOP Targa Top Controller for the new Porsche 911 Targa comes in the new, exclusive Mods4cars product enclosure which was engineered in house for perfect fit. Due to its very small and slim nature it can be installed in very tight spaces. It is equipped with a USB port for quick and easy configuration and firmware updates via Mac or Windows PC. Support software and firmware updates are available online free of charge.

The kit for Porsche 911 Targa is available for 299 Euros + tax. SmartTOP kits are also available for Porsche Boxster and Porsche 911 Convertibles.

The following popular brands are supported by Mods4cars with SmartTOP kits: Alfa, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo.

A product demonstration can be seen here:

Further details:

About Mods4cars:
Mods4cars was founded in 2002 with the idea to add a highly demanded feature to the otherwise almost perfect Porsche Boxster: Comfort One-Touch roof operation while driving at slow speeds. The resulting product offered not only that, but also allowed quick and easy installation by just swapping out a relay box, thus leaving no traces and no permanent changes on the vehicle. The first SmartTOP roof controller was born.

The success of their first products in Germany and Europe prompted them in late 2004 to move operations to the USA, to be able to serve the American market as well as all other English speaking countries such as Australia, UK and South Africa from one central location. Their business has grown to a full-fledged international corporation with an office in Las Vegas and a full line of innovative products as well as distributors and installation partners all over the globe.

Being highly specialized in the development and distribution of aftermarket roof- and comfort controllers since 2002 allows them to offer an unsurpassed level of competence and product quality. Their main goal is optimization of each individual product to a maximum in compatibility, usability and intuitive operation. They put greatest effort into development and quality checks of all their products to achieve this goal and meet all expectations of their customers.

The extraordinary success of their products is also based on the great communication with their customers, which usually already starts for each new product during the development and prototyping phase.

Press & Media Contact:
Anja Lehmann
Mods4cars LLC
1350 E. Flamingo Rd #3100
Las Vegas, NV 89119 – USA

Cirrus Data Launches Cache-as-a-Service Model for Caching Enterprise Data

Data Caching Server can be installed permanently or temporarily with no network changes.

New York, NY (USA), April 11th, 2015 — Cirrus Data Solutions, a provider of applications that manage and optimize storage area networks (SANs), today announced the release of its Data Caching Server and Cache-as-a-Service model, now available to channel partners and data center service providers.

The Cirrus Data Caching Server is a Fibre Channel-based cache solution that can be added on-the-fly to a live production environment in a matter of minutes without having to do wholesale changes to the data center. Data Caching Server can be installed as a permanent cache solution or used like a Cache-as-a-Service model for temporary cache needs.

Data Caching Server is based upon proprietary and patented technology called “Transparent Datapath Intercept” which was built on the notion that data appliances should look like a wire when installed into a live SAN. Because of this intercept, the Cirrus Server can be installed in-line between the switch and the storage unit, requiring no modifications to the existing environment.
“We at StorageMojo were looking for a product that addresses the speed craving that many legacy SAN environments are facing today with the ever increasing concurrent access to critical data,” stated Rene Eickoff CEO, StorageMojo Netherlands. “We evaluated Data Caching Server and found it to be the perfect product as it responds to all of these challenges. A significant added benefit that came with the product was the fact that the technology built into DCS allows for it to be inserted into any legacy SANs with no-downtime whatsoever and without having to change anything in the SAN.”

“Our new caching server and service represents a revolutionary way to address the need for speed for database administrators and a unique offering for service providers as the appliances can be installed and removed in a live production environment,” says Wayne Lam, CEO of Cirrus Data. “Our patented Transparent Datapath Intercept allows for true plug-and-play installation of the appliances within a heterogeneous environment.”

Wayne Lam will present the breakout session, “Flash Cache in the Data Center” at Data Storage Innovation Conference, April 9 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, CA. Lam’s presentation – “Flash Cache in the Data Center: The Future is Now” – will look at adding flash-based cache at the SAN level to enhance storage performance with absolutely zero downtime and no changes at the hosts, switches, or the storage.

Attendees can expect to receive a tutorial on Fibre Channel port spoofing and learn about the proprietary Transparent Datapath Intercept, a patented technology that eliminates the pain associated with installing appliances into a SAN.

Data Storage Innovation Conference is designed for IT end-users, architects, technical and product support specialists, engineers, consultants, vendors, channel partners and those expected to recognize and support data storage innovation as actual production solutions.

About Cirrus Data Solutions Inc.:
Headquartered in Long Island, New York, Cirrus Data Solutions is a privately-held software company specializing in developing enterprise-class storage software solutions. Its software appliances are sold/licensed through a network of systems integrators and channel partners including Cognizant, Dell, Fujitsu, IBM and Datalink. The team holds 21 patents, with the most recent one being granted by the US PTO on August 2012 (# 8,255,538) for Transparent Datapath Intercept. For more information visit or email

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Cirrus Data Solutions, Data Caching Server and Transparent Data Interception are trademarks of Cirrus Data Solutions, Inc. in the US and other countries. All other company and product names contained herein may be trademarks of their respective holders.

Press & Media Contact:
Victor Cruz, Principal Inc
Marblehead, MA – USA

“900 Voices” – Epic Video by GRAMMY® Winner Laura Sullivan

GRAMMY® winning composer, Laura Sullivan, called out to the world to join her in a powerful plan to make a music video.

Hollywood, CA, April 11, 2015 – GRAMMY® winning composer, Laura Sullivan, called out to the world to join her in a powerful plan to make a music video. Her request was simple.Take a video of yourself singing her song “900 Voices” and send it to her. The response was overwhelming.

938 people from Australia, Brazil, Israel, Croatia, Korea, Kenya, India, and many other countries, participated by making videos on their cell phones and sending them to Laura.

The result is epic. 27 languages included in one song and video about love and unity. The video will be released on April 9, 2015 and is titled “900 Voices.”

These 938 amazing people will make you happy. Elena from Bulgaria, still in her hospital gown, sings and sweetly kisses her newborn son. A group of children in Uganda, who were once homeless, sing and dance like they are the richest kids in the world. A fire department of tough guys from New Jersey gives it their all.

“I was hoping to get a lot of participation, but what I received back was beyond my wildest dreams. People from all over the world and from every walk of life sent in incredible videos. Watching them moved me to tears. I hope I have honored these hundreds of wonderful people by including them in the video,” says Laura.

The resulting video, with the blending of the many voices, faces, and languages, creates a powerfully moving experience that shines a light on the unifying power of love in our world.

“900 Voices,” promises to make you smile, and maybe even cry. 938 people, 27 languages, 1 song.

50% of the music proceeds of “900 Voices” are going towards the national nonprofit Little Kids Rock. This organization partners with economically disadvantaged school districts to run music programs. To date they have served more than 325,000 children in 13 states.

“Little Kids Rock is so grateful to Laura Sullivan for her support,” says Little Kids Rock Founder and CEO, David Wish. “It’s up to the big people to stand up for the little kids, and that is exactly what Laura is doing by including Little Kids Rock in her next project, inspiring our kids, and helping bring the lifelong gift of music to even more kids in our nation’s most economically challenged school districts!”

Laura Sullivan is a producer, author and GRAMMY® winning composer and recording artist. Her original music has been included in the score of two Emmy winning documentaries, as well as in many popular television programs and advertisements for Fortune 500 companies. Her music publications are represented by BMI, which holds more than 500 of her original compositions in her prolific Composer/Songwriter catalog.

Watch the “900 Voices” Video:

Further Information:

Chip Schutzman
Miles High Productions
P.O. Box 93157
Hollywood, CA 90093