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Weekend breaks at luxury lodges and holiday resorts throughout New Zealand are just some of the sensational items up for bidding at a charity auction to raise funds for the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind’s Guide Dog Services as part of the Michael Hill New Zealand Golf Open in Queenstown on January 28.
The charity auction is taking place in the corporate hospitality and merchandising enclosure adjacent to the 13th fairway of The Hills course, and has been organised by leading real estate agency Bayleys - which is the principal sponsor of the RNZFB’s Guide Dog Services.
The charity auction will be open to all members of the public attending the championship. Among the items which will go under the charity auctioneer’s hammer are:
Bayleys Queenstown and Southland director David Murray hopes the auction of 12 high-value items at the end of the opening day’s play at the championship will raise more than $75,000 for Guide Dog Services. It costs more than $22,500 to breed, raise, train and match a guide dog and as guide dogs are provided to handlers without charge, the costs are met by Bayleys’ sponsorship and other donations.
“There are approximately 240 working guide dogs in New Zealand which are all trained by the RNZFB's Guide Dog Services. The Otago and Southland regions are home to both fully fledged guide dogs and guide dog puppy trainers,” Mr Murray said. “Bayleys is so proud to be able to support the service locally and across the country.”
Guide dogs assist blind and partially sighted people to move around independently, confidently and safely. They are trained to guide their handlers around hazards, negotiate traffic, locate common destinations such as the supermarket and workplace, and travel on planes and buses.
“With 29 corporate hospitality tents and retail outlets, the players’ lounge, the scoreboard, and New Zealand Golf’s headquarters surrounding the merchandising enclosure, there will be hundreds of golfing enthusiasts milling around and welcome to join in the bidding for this highly worthwhile cause,” Mr Murray added.
“We would hope that some of the funds raised for Guide Dog Services at the New Zealand Golf Open charity auction could come back and support a local Otago or Southland recipient.”
Further highly-desirable items are expected to be added to the auction catalogue over the coming week. Mr Murray said Bayleys was currently in negotiation with two Otago and Southland businesses to put together an auction package never before seen in the region and expected to be one of the most sought after lots in the charity fundraiser. Details on the item were expected to be finalised by January 22.