Fingal Independent

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Busy time for local Guide Dogs branch

The Balbriggan\North County Dublin branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind were delighted to be a recent nominated charity to benefit from the Tesco Community Fund initiative.

Branch spokesperson Tom O'Neill explained: 'What you do is pick up a blue chip after paying for your item and drop it into the provided box at the customer services desk.'

Anne Mulligan volunteer puppy raiser with current puppy in training Yarrow who is four- months-old accepted the contribution from the fund from Lisa McEvoy, Tesco Community champion and Manager Raitis from Tesco Millfield in Balbriggan.

Tom O'Neill with his guide dogs Gatsby and his wife's guide dog Qeb were also on hand to accept the cheque for €383.33 from the fund, on behalf of the branch.

Skerries Community College and in particular the 3 Picasso class have become great friends of the guide dogs branch.

The class held a cake sale and organised two sponsored dog walks which raised a total of €793.50.

The class were chosen to receive the Máire and Ned Maguire perpetual trophy from the local branch of guide dogs until end of school year because of their recent and ongoing connection to guide dogs.

This trophy is presented annually to a supporter-supporters who do something different for the branch in any year.

Over the past couple of years Specsavers opticians and hear care centre in Millfield Shopping Centre in Balbriggan have in conjunction with Peter Carey .General Manager of the centre organised a Santa Grotto at which children visit Santa in his grotto and they make a donation to the local branch of guide dogs Balbriggan\North County Dublin Branch.

Spokesperson for the branch, Tom O'Neilly said: 'We have to thank Brian Brodigan of Specsavers opticians and hear care centre and his staff for each year putting together the Grotto and donating the money to us.

At Christmas, the initiative raised a whopping €1,363.62 for the branch.

Tom said: 'Our branch would like to sincerely thank Specsavers opticians and hear care centre, Balbriggan for adding an additional €500 to the Santa Grotto figure bringing the total up to €1,863.62.'

The branch has a number of fundraising ventures in the coming months. Tom said: 'Our first events of the year is the Annual Balbriggan Feis in Naul on Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 15. The Billy McGrath Memorial Poker Classic is taking place on Friday, February 7 in Oldtown House. Should you wish to play contact Ann Begg through oldtown House on 8433247.

'At different events throughout the year all over the north county including Balbriggan such as the above two events we so often are stuck for somebody to bring merchandise, buckets and posters to a venue So could you be that driver Over the last year our Dublin office have purchased a number of very well branded guide dogs colourful gazeboes and each time we use them we get great comments. If there is a drawback to them it is that it takes a couple of people to set them up and take them down. 'The Dublin office has somebody who will drop a gazebo to us and pick it up after the event but we as a branch need to take it down and put it up. Takes about 20 minutes to do this at start and finish Would anybody like to become part of the gazebo setting up and taking down team? There is one other area we would really appreciate help with and this is one or two people to help two to three times a year emptying some of our counter boxes and replacing them.'

Fingal Independent