Laurie Dunn will celebrate his 80th birthday later this year and has spent more than a quarter of his life volunteering, fundraising, and donating to improve the lives of Queenslanders with vision loss.
Laurie and his wife Dell first connected with Guide Dogs more than 20 years ago when they attended an Open Day – only to find out they had the wrong start time.
“We thought they were starting, but they were packing up. We missed the whole thing,” Laurie recalled with a laugh.
But, a staff member gave Laurie and Dell a tour of the training centre, which started a long and lasting connection with Guide Dogs. They felt inspired to make a donation that same day.
“That donation helped two guide dogs go through their training,” Laurie said with a smile. “I was proud to help in any way I could, but I knew from that moment that I wanted to have more involvement, that’s why I started volunteering.”
Laurie manned fundraising stalls as Garden City and Carindale Shopping Centres for many years, and is now well known and loved at our train station merchandise stalls.
“I’ve never volunteered for any other reason than to help the clients that Guide Dogs supports. I always remember that; the clients are the reason I keep giving my time”.
“Now more than ever before, our volunteers and donors are vital in ensuring we can continue delivering quality care and support to our clients,” CEO Michael Kightley said.
During coronavirus restrictions, Laurie and our incredible team of volunteers have been unable to hold fundraising stalls, but that did not stop Laurie from finding a way to help.
“I knew Guide Dogs still needed cryogenic equipment for the breeding program and we wanted to help,” Laurie recalled. “We didn’t know what would happen with COVID-19 and our finances, so we decided to make a donation while we could.
“We wanted to help reduce operating costs for Guide Dogs and help bring more puppies into the world.”
If you would like to find out more about volunteering with Guide Dogs, click here.