Bellevance, Ike to discuss service dogs at free LA Senior College class Sept. 13

LEWISTON — The LA Senior College Food for Thought series will present Eric Bellevance and his service dog Ike at noon on Friday, Sept. 13.
Bellevance’s appearance with Ike kicks off the school’s fall series. The free public program will be held in Room 170 at the college, 51 Westminster St.
Bellevance is a lifetime resident of the Lewiston-Auburn area. He attended the University of Southern Maine, and worked for the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles for 29 years. He has volunteered at Camp Sunshine in Casco for many years and recently began volunteering at Central Maine Medical Center.
Bellevance has a disability that has significantly impaired his mobility. He applied for, and was matched with, Ike in 2015. Ike assists Bellevancec by retrieving dropped objects, opening and closing doors, manipulating light switches, barking on command and more.
Bellevance is regularly approached by people asking questions about service dogs. He was approached by a coworker a few years ago asking if he would be willing to speak about service dogs at the annual convention of the Maine Fair Association. He developed a presentation that educates people about what makes a service dog different from other dogs; state and federal laws and rules about the dogs; the rights and responsibilities of public access for teams and the places they may visit.
While the presentation is free, those who wish to have lunch pay $8 and must make a reservation before noon on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Call 207-753-6510 to reserve a lunch spot. Food can also be bought at the campus café.