Chiefs' Thrilled With Public Support For Chief
Chief is $9033.85 better off thanks to the support from Chiefs' followers at four of the teams' home games.
The black Labrador Retriever guide dog puppy from the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind's Guide Dog Services was the Chiefs' nominated charity at their Thames, Pukekohe, Rotorua and Hamilton Telecom Rugby Super 12 games in March and late April.
RNZFB collectors attended all of those games - with the Chiefs' aiming to raise a total of $22,500 to support the breeding and training of the little guide dog puppy. Now thanks to the generous public support almost half of that total cost has been met with a bit more still expected to come in.
"It's a great result," says Pat Mellsop, Marketing Manager Chiefs'. "The public not only showed their support for the team at those games, they also supported our cause - Chief.
"As well as the public donations, we raised $500 from the auction of our rugby jersey and Allied Pickfords Ltd (a chief Chiefs' supporter) generously gave another $600."
The team would like to thank Chiefs' followers for their donations. They'd also like to thank Chief for his very professional appearance and `doggy' encouragement on the field at half time during their Brumbies game.
Ian Cox, General Manager Guide Dog Services is also pleased with the sporting community's support for Chief.
"The continued survival of Guide Dog Services relies totally on the money we are able to raise through donations, sponsorships and bequests. We don't receive any government funding for the service we provide, so it is fantastic to see so many people keen to help Chief."
Now fourteen weeks old, Chief is almost two months into the CHAMP guide dog puppy development programme with his Hamilton puppy walkers.
"He's doing really well," says Paula Lee, Puppy Development Manager, Guide Dog Services.
"He's completed his first set of vaccinations, so he doesn't need to be carried when he is outside."
Chief is only at the start of his journey to become a working guide dog, but the money raised during the Chiefs' games will help him towards that end goal of eventually increasing the independence of a blind or sight impaired New Zealander.