The South African Guide-Dogs Association would like to wish all of our supporters a happy New Year and take a look back at 2013, our Diamond Jubilee year, to share some of the highlights with you.
In 2013 SAGA turned 60! We commemorated this special anniversary with many successful functions and sponsorship drives. The year was filled with many happy events: Graduations, puppy classes, andlitters of future Guide-, Service- and Companion Dogs being born at our training centre. Some of the event highlights of the year included:
The Twinings Diamond Jubilee Tea Party
In celebration of our60th anniversary we hosted the TwiningsDiamond Jubilee Tea party. We invited 15 special couples to the morning tea party who were also commemorating 60 years of marriage during 2013. A scrumptious tea was served to the guestsat our Gladys Evans training centre with lots of fun and laughter in-between.
The Diamond Jubilee Concert
On the 5th of June we hosted a fantastic fundraising concert which featured over 250 artists who gave of themselves without remuneration for a 150 minute extravaganza of music, dance and comedy.The gala concert was organized by the late Mixael de Kockand The Joburg Theatre provided the venue for two days, fully staffed and equipped with no cost to us. The sold out event evenincluded 18 of our four legged friends who graced the stage in the finale. The stellar castincluded: SibongileMngoma, Dado Masilo, Judy Page, Abigail Kubeka, Angela Killian, the South African Mzansi Ballet, Robert Whitehead,Mark Banks,Tony Bentel, Mark Hawkins, Sandra Prinsloo,Fiona Ramsay, Anne Power, Michael de Pinna, Harry Sideropoulos, Michael Richardand the Black Tie Ensemble.
The Golf Day – Gauteng
On the 7th of June we held our annual Golf day at the Kyalami Country Club. The field was fully booked about three months in advance for this popular SAGA event. Teams were thoroughly entertained and spoilt as they made their way through the course.Thirty five fourball teams battled it out under perfect blue skies and sunny weather.
Thanks to our generous sponsors every team left with a wonderful prize on the evening. The auction items, ranging from a holiday in Mauritius to a fabulous Persian carpet, raised a record amount for SAGA on the night.
The puppy raisers celebratory picnic
Yet another event in our Diamond Jubilee year was held onthe 18th August. The puppy raisers celebratory picnic brought together puppy raisers, breeding stock holders and their families at our training centre to thank them for the fantastic, unselfish contribution they make to the Association.
Coloured streamers and balloons decorated the grounds and luckily the weather was kind to us: It was a beautiful clear, warm Highveld winter day. On arrival everyone received a gift from SAGA of a commemorative “Sheena” mug!
The annual SAGA Fly fishing event
The fifth annual SAGA Fly-fishing event took place on the weekend of 31st of August, and was as always very popular and successful. Generous donations were made to the Association and a wonderful grand prize of an international fly fishing trip was auctioned off. We look forward to hosting this event again in 2014!
The Diamond Jubilee Ball
The 60th anniversary Guide-Dogs Spring Ball had a Diamond Jubilee theme this year. It was our most successful ball to date with more than half a million Rand raised on the night!A special doggie fashion show was held showcasing a puppy, Service Dog in training, Guide Dog in training and a qualified Guide Dog all decked out in their best evening attire. The use of the Long Cane was also demonstrated.After the auction the gorgeous Miss Earth finalists warmed hearts by carrying twelve week old puppies into the ballroom to kick of the this year’s very successful sponsorships drive. A wonderful entertaining evening was had by all in attendance.
The Diamond Jubilee Luncheon
The SA Guide-Dogs Diamond Jubilee Luncheon was held on Sunday the 13thof October at The Forum Company at The Campus in Bryanston to acknowledge our most loyal supporters and sponsors. We are aware that without the devotion and generosity of our supporters and sponsors the success of our Association would never have been possible over sixty wonderful years! Ashley Hayden was our Master of Ceremonies at the luncheon and beautiful Diamond Awards were handed out during the course of the afternoon.
In October of this, our 60th anniversary year, an assessor from the International Guide Dog Federation visited the Gladys Evans training centre. Kathy Zubrycki from Guiding Eyes for the Blind (United States) assessed our centre over a number of days according to the strict standards put forth by the IGDF that determine whether Guide Dog Associations are eligible to become members, or in the case of SAGA, retain membership to the IGDF. Some of the services that SAGA provide that were assessed included client- services and selection, kennelling, our breeding program, and our Guide Dog training- and assessment program, to name a few.
The Golf Day – Kwazulu-Natal
Our Kwazulu-Natal branch also hosted a Golf Day on the 25th of October at Umdoni Golf Club. This fun-filled and successful event raised more than R20 000. Look out for our Western Cape Golf Day coming up on the 28th of March 2014!
High tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel
Our Western Cape branch celebrated the 60th Anniversary of our Association on Saturday, the 16th of November at the world renowned Mount Nelson Hotel with an exquisite High Tea. Guide Dog and Service Dog owners, puppy raisers and donors joined in the celebrations and thoroughly enjoyed the morning with angelic singing performances by Guide Dog owners, Cairie Van Der Vyver and Michelle Botha. Ashley Hayden, Master of Ceremonies, did an outstanding job with her huge heart and kind personality.
Carols by candlelight
To celebrate the festive season SA Guide-Dogs hosted a wonderful Carols by Candlelight event on Saturday the 23rd of November at the Gladys Evans Training Centre. The entertaining event was hosted not only to celebrate the season but also to thank our loyal supporters for their devotion to the Association throughout 2013.
Car Raffle competition draw
The Diamond Jubilee year ended on a high note with the draw for our annual car competition that was held at the SAGA Christmas luncheon at the Gladys Evans training centre on the 6th of December. We sold more than 22,000 raffle tickets for this year’s car competition and the lucky winner was Sandra Kruger! Second prize went to Judy Ray who won R10 000 worth of designer jewellery, and third prize went to Anita Marriot who is now the proud owner of Honda generator.
A big thank you goes out to all of our supporters and sponsors for making our 60th Diamond Jubilee year such a success. We look forward to working together with you to make 2014 just as successful for the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind.