To Infinity and Beyond
Our auxiliaries and their wonderful band of workers were instrumental in the raising of funds for Guide Dogs and it was only through the generous and untiring work of these committees that Guide Dogs were able to grow and increase the number of people that they were able to help.
As Guide Dogs became more widely known, thanks to the efforts of some of our widely travelled ambassadors in the 1960s, residents in many regional areas keenly set about establishing Auxiliaries in their own areas and raising funds with an infinite number of innovative fundraising activities. These activities included, badge days, balls, football matches, trading tables, tug of wars and races the like of which are only limited by the imagination:
In Darwin in 1967 the 'boys from the six banks in town' contested the Cash and Carry race down the main street. The six burly bankers were handed a house brick that they had to carry between thumb and middle finger of each hand and started down the road. At intervals along the course they were handed a paper bag tied with sticky tape and filled with assorted coins. They had to tally the contents, advise the 'teller' of the total and continue on their way. The first one over the line with the correct tally was the winner.
Once they had recovered from the race and had circulation back in their fingers they competed in an interbank tug of war. The winning ANZ team put their success down to the special meals prepared by their staff cook!!
During that same year the newly formed Alice Springs Auxiliary boosted their coffers by $82.50 following the sale of a steer donated by Pine Creek Station.
In a recent letter to our Fundraising Manager Frank Lane, who was instrumental in the formation of the Guide Dogs Auxiliary in Alice Springs, says "On rediscovering the article on the formation of the Auxiliary I could not help but reflect on the difference in the fund raising approach over 50 years. The money we raised seems terribly small but I remember our excitement when our fist steer was sold".
One of the more unusual Auxiliaries formed was The Scott Auxiliary. Scott was a 5 year old Golden Labrador belonging to a young man named Andrew Gwinnett.
He along with two of his friends had a great affinity with animals and with Scott particularly. They recognised the gentle intelligence and devotion of Labradors and so when they determined to devote their spare time to helping others it was natural for them to select Guide Dogs as the focus of their endeavours. Their infectious enthusiasm was contagious and sufficient friends joined them to form The Scott Auxiliary. This group of young people aged between 19 and 23 were already very busy with their work, study and diverse interests in their recreational lives. It is inspiring that they still found the time to direct their energies to fundraising for Guide Dogs.