Mystery benefactor boosts Star appeal

GUIDE dog puppy Star's training was given a fantastic boost today thanks to an anonymous bumper donation of £500.

GUIDE dog puppy Star's training was given a fantastic boost today thanks to an anonymous bumper donation of £500.

The magnificent gesture arrived in the post for the Evening Star's Christmas appeal, which is rapidly gathering momentum.

The appeal aims to raise £10,000 to help pay for Star's training so that she can become the eyes of a blind or visually-impaired person, allowing them to enjoy a more fulfilled life.

The £500 was paid on a building society cheque, meaning the identity of the kind-hearted benefactor remains a mystery.

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “This is a fantastic gesture and shows how Star and the vital work she will carry out as a guide dog is really touching people's hearts.

“We just want to say a huge thank you to the person who sent in the money - it really is a big boost for the appeal.

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“If the person would like to contact us again, totally privately, we could arrange for them to meet Star should they wish, and would respect their privacy and anonymity.”

Nine-week-old Labrador Star is undergoing the first phase of her training with her puppy walker Penny Parker, with whom she will spend the next year getting acclimatised to various everyday experiences.

We want the whole community to get involved with the appeal.

Every penny and pound will count and ensure Star gets the best care and training - so if you are organising a fundraising event for the appeal, then we want to hear about it so we can give you maximum publicity and help boost the amount raised.

Let us know what you are up to - get in touch with Richard Cornwell at the Felixstowe Newsdesk on 01394 284109 or the Ipswich Newsdesk on 01473 324788.

To donate to the appeal, please send cheques - made payable to the Guide Dogs - to Richard Cornwell, Evening Star, 172 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, IP11 7DU.

Have you been helped by Guide Dogs for the Blind? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Guide Dogs for the Blind

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association was founded in Britain in 1934.

Every year the association breeds more than 1,000 guide dog puppies, mostly labrador/retriever crosses.

Some 21,000 blind and partially-sighted people have experienced the independence a guide dog can bring.

The association needs more than £50 million a year to carry out its work.

This money comes entirely from voluntary donations - two thirds of it from legacies and the rest from fundraising events.

The charity is supported by about 10,000 volunteers, including puppy walkers, brood-stock holders, dog boarders and thousands of local fundraisers.

Guide dogs generally retire at the age of nine or 10. Many stay with their owner, as a pet

There are about 220 guide dog owners in East Anglia.

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