Dog club rattles tins for the kids

The German Shepherd Dog Club Victoria has been fundraising for the Good Friday Appeal since 1983.

In the winning combination stakes it’s hard to go past kids and animals.

So, it’s no surprise the German Shepherd Dog Club Victoria and the Good Friday Appeal have had such a successful relationship over the past 37 years.

Bernie Lester has been involved in the club’s fundraising efforts for the Royal Children’s Hospital since they started in 1983.

“At the time I did not have any connection with the hospital but having two young daughters I wanted in some small way to be involved in raising money so that if my girls ever needed the best medical care they, along with all other children, would have access to the best equipment a hospital could have,” Bernie said.

“So, I asked the German Shepherd Dog Club to be involved in fundraising for the Good Friday Appeal.” 

Each year the number of club volunteers involved in the Appeal varies, but there are usually about 50 out rattling tins on Good Friday.

Dog club volunteers Ethel and Karen doing a roadside collection on a previous Good Friday.

“In the early days our dogs would be with us but in 1997 because of some changes to the law our dogs were not permitted to be on the corners with us anymore,” Bernie said.

The dogs were also a feature of Good Friday festivities when the collection centre was the HWT office in Flinders Street and the German Shepherd owners put on popular demonstrations to showcase their dogs’ skills.

Although the involvement has changed over the years, the club is looking forward to being involved in fundraising activities for next year’s Appeal.

“We believe that sick children should have the best care and it gives us a lot of satisfaction at the end of the day,” Bernie said.

The group has raised more than $600,000 for the Appeal since 1983.

First published 30th September, 2020
Words: Tricia Quirk

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