Calliope Central’s Guide Dog Charity Day
By John Wessling
Calliope Central Bowls Club was the venue for our annual Guide Dogs Lawn Bowls Charity Day held on March 5. Now in its 11th year, this event came about when Dave Byars, an ex-Australian Visually Impaired Bowler and his Guide Dog, Queeny, joined our Club after relocating from Melbourne.
Dave put in a request to the management committee to hold a fundraiser for Guide Dogs. Naturally, the committee had no hesitation in approving the request. Members then worked with Dave to put on an event the community would support, which included barefoot bowls, a multi draw raffle and a BBQ tea for just $20.
In the first year, the green was filled with 64 players (we only have 40 members) and we had 50 prizes for the multi-draw valued at approx $50 each. Some of the food for the BBQ was donated by Woolies and after all was said and done, we raised $2,230.
Eleven years later, we are still using the same successful formula, as well as including some auctions for locally-made items. All money raised on the day is donated to Guide Dogs to cover puppy raising costs for the first 18 months. There is no direct cost to hold the event, as one of our members collects recyclable bottles and cans over the year and donates that money to cover the cost of all food and other expenses.
This year, the day raised $8,000 and over the 11 years of the event, the total raised is $55,167. A record amount has been achieved every year except one and the 2020 Covid year, where there was only the multi-draw raffle.
This little club is proud of its achievement to date and looks forward to many more successful days in the future.
Dave is now on his third guide dog, Harvey, after his replacement dog for Queeny was retired due to a medical condition.