Puppy Love competition winners
Ultimate Valentine's Day gift - Winners of Guide Dog puppy naming competition meet puppies
The winners of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's Valentine's Day 'Puppy Love' puppy naming competition, Cindy Waldock from Dee Why and Aaron Colleran from Mosman enjoyed the ultimate Valentine's Day gift on Saturday, meeting the two Guide Dog puppies named after their winning entries, 'Phil' and 'Heidi' respectively.
To enter the competition, Cindy and Aaron were among thousands of Sydneysiders who generously purchased a plush puppy that Guide Dogs NSW/ACT was selling at stalls across Sydney last week, with the aim of raising $60,000 by Valentine's Day to fund the training of two Guide Dog puppies.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's Fundraising Manager Leila Davis congratulated Cindy and Aaron on winning the competition, and said the public's support of the organisation's Valentine's Day campaign had been overwhelming, with $55,000 raised so far.
"We're so grateful to everyone who bought a plush puppy, as each purchase makes a priceless contribution to changing the life of someone with vision loss, so they can enjoy the freedom of independence that a Guide Dog provides," says Ms Davis.
"We rely on the public's support to fund the more than $30,000 it costs to breed, raise and train each Guide Dog, which we provide free of charge to people who need them.
"Every day 28 Australians are diagnosed with uncorrectable vision loss, including nine who become blind, so we're hoping this campaign will help us to keep up with the growing demand for Guide Dogs.
"There are about 40 NSW and ACT residents on our waiting list and we're expecting this will grow as it's predicted that the number of people with vision loss that can't be corrected will increase by 20% to 120,000 in the next five years."
Ms Davis hopes that the last 350 plush puppies might be sold over the coming weeks from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's online shop at reach the campaign's $60,000 target.
"While Valentine's Day has passed, the plush puppies make a great gift for any occasion."
For more information about Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and how you can help, please call (02) 9412 9300.