For Queensland Design and Construction business Spaceframe Buildings, fundraising for Guide Dogs has delivered more than donor satisfaction – it’s also come with a sense of connection.

For the past seven years, the family run business has been honouring the memory of one of their founding members, Christine Raspotnik, who suffered vision loss while also helping others at various stages of their vision journey.

“Spaceframe was originally set up by my mum and dad in 1972,” Joint Managing Director Jane Raspotnik said.

“Mum had two detached retinas, so her sight was limited. After she passed away seven years ago, we wanted to do something philanthropic in her memory.

“Guide Dogs was close to mum’s heart, so we first started fundraising in her memory.”

Jane’s mum, Christine, was a big supporter of Guide Dogs, regularly visiting the Bald Hills training campus and making small donations herself.

“We initially started donating a little bit of money here and there and it’s steadily grown over the years. We’ve entered teams into the Bridge to Brisbane over the past couple of years, funded specialised equipment for the new Vet Clinic and even had the chance to name a litter of pups.”

As Guide Dogs Queensland celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2020, it is incredible supporters like the Spaceframe family who we want to acknowledge. Without their generosity, Guide Dogs would not be able to offer vital services to Queenslanders with vision loss.

Jane said the warm and fuzzy feeling they get back from supporting and fundraising for Guide Dogs made it all worth it, but there had also been numerous highlights during the seven year partnership.

The members of the Spaceframe family standing at the front desk of the Guide Dogs vet clinic
Spaceframe family in the new Guide Dogs vet clinic

“When we named the litter of pups, we extended the call out to the extended Spaceframe family. This included staff, sub-contractors, clients and families. We are a competitive bunch but like to have fun! We held a competition where if someone’s suggested name was chosen, they won a prize” she said.

“We just love helping out and supporting people with vision loss.”

Spaceframe also funded the travel of ‘Valisa’ – a dog that travelled all the way from California at the end of 2019 to join the Guide Dogs breeding program.

“Meeting Valisa after her long journey and getting a tour of the new on-site Vet Clinic was amazing. Valisa is a lovely dog with such a beautiful temperament. It made it all worthwhile then to see her [Valisa] and the very first Queensland litter she had earlier this year,” Jane said.

Although the past few months have postponed some plans, the Spaceframe family are passionate and determined to continue supporting Guide Dogs however they can.

“Guide Dogs is always in the back of our minds. We are always thinking of ways we can help.”

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