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18 April, 2016

Bequest helps Guide Dogs continue to offer services

Kay Janet Stubbs driving a tractor on her property in Pitt Town.

Farmer's generous donation

A special day is planned to mark the installation of plaque at the Guide Dogs Centre in Glossodia in honour of Kay Janet Stubbs, a Pitt Town farmer, who generously bequeathed part of her estate to the organisation.

Family and friends of Ms Stubbs will be invited to a morning tea at the centre when the plaque is unveiled.

Living and working a stone's throw away from the centre where Guide Dogs are bred, raised and trained, Ms Stubbs recognised Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's commitment to assisting those who are blind or vision impaired, through a gift in her Will.

"Over the years, bequests have allowed Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to evolve and to meet the growing demand for our services that are delivered at no cost to clients," Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's Planned Giving General Manager, Sally Biles said.

"Bequests are a very special and valuable way in which a supporter can help us to make a real difference to the life of someone who is blind or vision impaired."

A very private person, Ms Stubbs is remembered in the Hawkesbury region, for not only running the family orchid in Pitt Town, but also two Windsor establishments, the Bell Inn Private Hotel and trendy coffee shop, Kate's Place.

Her friend Garry Medina remembers her ability to wow an audience fondly. It was this skill that can be attributed to the family farm remaining viable.

Taking over the property after her father died at a young age, Ms Stubbs turned the business into a 'pick your own' where morning tea was served when the citrus industry was stricken by imports and lower prices.

Ms Stubbs led a varied career which included modelling, acting, hospitality and public relations.

"Between 1958 and 1963 she appeared in live television commercials on Channel 7 and did some of the original advertisements when the Ford Falcon was released," Mr Medina said.

"She was a letter girl on the Dave Allen Show, worked on the Whiplash Series and A Country Practice and did radio voice overs. She had a wonderful speaking style"

Along with acting, Ms Stubbs was voted Photographic Model of the Year in the early 1960s and became the face of Revlon.

Her heart however was with her property. "She made great efforts to keep her little hamlet of Pitt Town 'country'," Mr Medina said.

Before her health deteriorated, Ms Stubbs was often seen cleaning up around the local cemetery where many First Fleet families are buried, her family being one of them.

Ms Stubbs remained very committed to community affairs through her life.

A black and white photo of Kay Janet Stubbs taken when she was modelling

She bequeathed her estate to five charities including Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

"It costs more than $35,000 to breed, raise and train one Guide Dog and as demand for our services grow due to increasing vision loss in the community, so does Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's reliance on the public's generosity," Ms Biles said.

"Three out of every four Guide Dogs have been funded by bequests," she said.

"With less than two per cent of our funding needs coming from the government, we are incredibly grateful for people like Kay Janet Stubbs leaving a gift in her Will."

Statistics show that every day 28 Australians are diagnosed with vision loss that cannot be corrected.

"Should you generously decide to leave a gift in your Will to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, please let us know so we can keep you up to date with our work and invite you to our Guide Dog Graduation days at our training centre as well as other supporter events," Ms Biles said.

For more information about Guide Dogs NSW/ACT visit