Shades week

Press Release: 30 April 2009


Today, Thursday 30th April 2009, recently appointed Ipswich Town Manager and Irish football legend, Roy Keane, officially launched the seventh annual Irish
Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB) / Specsavers SHADES campaign 2009. The campaign which focuses on raising funds for the training of guide and assistance
dogs, centres around a week of fundraising nationwide which kicks off on Monday 4th May 2009

Speaking at the SHADES 2009 Campaign launch in Croke Park, Roy Keane said;
“I’m delighted to be here to launch Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind/ Specsavers SHADES 2009 Campaign. It’s remarkable to see the positive impact a guide
dog or assistance dog has on an individual or family. I am a great admirer of their work and the effort put in by their volunteers and partners in making
a difference to others”.

Over the past seven years Roy has donated his time and support to the Irish Guidedogs for the Blind/ Specsavers SHADES campaign to help not only raise awareness
of the needs of persons living with blindness or vision impairment but also to raise much needed funds for the charity. Through the Specsavers partnership,
the campaign also aims to promote eye care.

The 2009 campaign has for the first time taken to the big screen with Roy and his trusted canine friend Triggs featuring in the campaign commercial. The
commercial will also be featured on television and will therefore reach a large audience of viewers.

Throughout May, SHADES pins will be available for purchase within all 34 Specsavers stores nationwide. Pins cost €2 each and can also be bought at Dunnes
Stores, Greyhound Stadia, UCI and Storm Cinemas and various other participating stores nationwide (
Alternatively, donations can be made by simply texting the word ‘SHADES’ to 51444. Normal text rates apply. The IGDB volunteers will also be selling SHADES
pins across the country in various shopping centres and outlets during SHADES week.

Padraig Mallon, Chief Executive for IGDB, said: “We’re really excited about this year’s campaign, especially the commercial, as it gives us the chance to
tell our story to the general public’.

It costs approximately €38k to train a guide dog, and while IGDB trained more Guide and Assistance Dog partnerships in 2008 than ever before in its history,
the demand continues to increase.

Padraig continues: ‘Roy’s contribution coupled with our partnership with Specsavers has positively contributed to the overall success of our fundraising
and awareness campaign and we are sure we will again enjoy the same support from our volunteers and the public as in the past. We are currently extending
our national headquarters and training centre in order to accommodate more dogs and clients for training. It is through the public’s generosity that we
are able to continue to grow our services for our clients who are blind and vision impaired and families of children with autism”.

The IGDB / Specsavers SHADES campaign also aims to remind the public to protect their eyes from harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun by wearing sunglasses.
Members of the public are invited to support the campaign by wearing their shades during SHADES week.

Speaking at the launch Specsavers chairperson for Ireland, Hugh Morris:
“Our partnership with the IGDB has been immensely successful to date and we are keen to build upon our efforts over the past number of years. It is important
to the Specsavers stores in Ireland that we support a sight-related charity and raise vital funds that can be injected in our communities.

Protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays is extremely important and many people are unaware of the damage that it can cause to your eyesight. The IGDB/
Specsavers SHADES campaign amalgamates the great work of the Irish Guide Dogs while highlighting the importance of sun protection and the need to have
an eye test every two years”.

So if you have any spare change you know where to give it this week!


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