KAMLOOPS — For many Canadians who are blind or visually impaired, getting a guide dog opens the door to living an independent life - but training guide dogs isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t cheap. which is why all five Kamloops Lions Clubs teamed up this weekend, to hold a fundraiser event out at Falcon Lanes in Valleyview, with proceeds going to the Lions Foundation of Canada's Dog Guide program.
They were setting them up, and knocking them down Sunday, at Falcon Lanes. It was the first annual Dog Bowl Fundraiser, held by five different Lions Clubs from across the city of Kamloops.
“What we’re hoping to do, is raise money to bring a guide dog into the community,” Dale Brush, North Shore Lions Club member, and chair of the event told CFJC Today.
Lions Clubs from across Canada all contribute to the Lions Foundation Guide Dogs program through various fundraisers. The foundation trains vision and hearing dog guides, service dogs for those with physical disabilities, seizure response dogs for epileptic patients,autism assistance dogs, and diabetic alert dogs.
Linda Hall, who is president of the White Cane Club in Kamloops knows first hand what an impact a guide dog can have on someone who is blind or visually impaired.
“i have gone to the [Training Centre in Ontario]… I’ve got my third dog from there,” Hall, who is blind, said. “It gives me freedom and independence to do the things I enjoy doing.”
Raising and training service dogs isn’t a cheap proposition: “You’re looking at about $25,000, with no cost to the individual [recipient of the guide dog] whatsoever,” Brush said.
For everyone who came out to support the cause, it was well worth their time.
“I have helped people to get services dogs,” Hall said. “I’m very proud… when they get them.”
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