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Guide Dog Appeal's Retail Campaign Is Launched

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GUIDE DOG APPEAL'S RETAIL CAMPAIGN IS LAUNCHED

The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind's Guide Dog Appeal launched nationwide today with a three week retail campaign running until Sunday 7 May.

More than quarter of a million badges have been produced to raise more than $650,000 for guide dogs and other essential services for blind and sight impaired New Zealanders.

Prime Minister Helen Clark took a ten minute break from her Cabinet meeting to purchase one of the first guide dog appeal badges on the steps of Parliament shortly after midday.

Selling her the badge, was Foundation member and Victoria University music student Karen Plimmer with her guide dog Heidi.

At the same time in Christchurch, Tom Schnackenberg - design coordinator of Team New Zealand's America's Cup boat - supported the appeal by donating his time as guest speaker at a special charity luncheon.

The luncheon, held at Christchurch Casino's Grand Caf, raised around $10,000 from tickets and a special `boutique' auction.

Tim Kay, National Manager Special Events, says, "The sale of our badges through national retailers is an integral part of the Guide Dog Appeal.

"We want to make Quantum, Tom and Rugby as accessible to our supporters as possible and having their badges on the checkout counters of stores nationwide is a fabulous way of achieving this.

"Our thanks to those retailers who agreed to participate in our campaign, and a special thanks to the Prime Minister, Tom Schnackenberg and others around the country who are amongst the first to support this year's Guide Dog Appeal."

Those wanting to buy one (or all three) Guide Dog Appeal badges - featuring Quantum (a guide dog puppy in training), Tom (a working guide dog) and Rugby (a guide dog stud dog) - can find them at the outlets of the following national retailers; Woolworths, Big Fresh, Price Chopper, Foodtown, Countdown, Three guys, The Warehouse, pharmacies, New Zealand Post Shops, Whitcoulls, Deka, Farmers, Kmart and Shell services stations.

The annual Guide Dog Appeal is officially being celebrated on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 April with volunteers selling badges and collecting donations in city streets and shopping malls around New Zealand. ends

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