I went to Letterkenny on Saturday afternoon for the ‘go walkies’ fundraiser for guide dogs. The idea is simple; people go for a short walk, and are encouraged to bring family members and dogs if they want. The events took place over the last few weekends around Ireland. Most people love walking and do it all the time, so you’d imagine it would be a popular, easy way to raise money. That wasn’t the case in Letterkenny. Myself, O.J and the four other people I brought were the only people there!
I don’t want to go into too much detail about this event because I didn’t organise it. The people who did probably did their best on the day, and they were very friendly and appreciated the fact that I travelled 40 minutes with my family and my guide dog. . On the other hand, I didn’t want to not write about it and pretend it didn’t happen. That wouldn’t have been right either, and I hope people can learn from what went wrong.
The only input I had was to volunteer to assist with any newspaper articles or local radio interviews if needed. They never happened and there was almost no publicity of the event. Even if there was, I think é15 per person was too expensive. People don’t have much money, and even if they did, I think charging that just to do a walk wasn’t fair. I think people really need to be more considerate when organising fundraising events these days.
I want to organise a fundraiser for Irish guide dogs before O.J retires. I’d love something a bit different, but haven’t come up with an idea I’m happy with yet. I might consider organising a ‘go walkies’ event in my local town next year. It will be cheaper, and I guarantee there’ll be lots of people there to walk, with or without their dogs.