Astral Ballroom, Crown Perth
27 February 2016
A massive 524 guests packed the Astral Ballroom at Crown Perth on Saturday, 27 February 2016 for the third annual Think Fragile X Foundation Gala Dinner.
An amazing $215,430 was raised on the night for Guide Dogs WA. These vital funds have helped towards launching the Buddy Dogs for Kids progam, which will provide Companion, Assistance and Therapy Dogs for children.
Channel Ten personality Tim Gossage hosted the event once again, and called the exciting live auction which was full of incredible items and experiences. Some big buyers in the room dug deep snapping up everything from a Fender guitar signed by David Bowie to an exclusive Grand Prix experience in Singapore, and even a one-off framed Valentino Rossi Yamaha Jacket.
While guests showed their generosity in both the live and silent auctions it was the special live appeal which really showed just how generous the guests were. 40 guests jumped up to purchase a plush guide dog toy for $1000 each – raising enough money right then and there to purchase the first official Buddy Dog puppy for the program.
Under the new program, Buddy Dogs will help in intervention, training to facilitate independence, and providing skills to deal with challenging situations.
New puppy recruit Jaxx arrived as a playful, furry bundle in May. His name was inspired by Luke and Maria’s two young boys, Ethan and Logan, who were diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome. The two Xs in Jaxx’s name represent the two Goss boys!
In July 2016, the first official Buddy Dog, Gus, was placed at a very special home. His sweet, gentle nature and natural affinity with children meant that he was the perfect fit to be placed as a Therapy Buddy Dog at Ronald McDonald House Perth. He visits each of the five floors throughout the day, bringing smiles to the faces of some of regional WA’s sickest children and their families.
“He’s had a massively positive impact on everyone he meets—the kids, the families, volunteers, staff and contractors too! He even has a welcoming committee every morning when he walks in the door.” – Courtney Kennedy, Operations Manager at Ronald McDonald House Perth.
Professor Andrew Whitehouse of Telethon Kids’ Institute will conduct the research behind the Buddy Dogs program. Professor Whitehouse is evaluating the benefits of Buddy Dogs in the development of children with disabilities.
Think Fragile X Foundation, Telethon Kids’ Institute and the team at Guide Dogs WA are so excited to be working together to help change so many families lives.
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