Chartered clients, Laura and Ray Wilson, are enthusiastic participants in the sport of lawn bowling. Bonnie Espie, also a Chartered client, is a volunteer puppy raiser for the South African Guide Dogs Association. When she and the Wilsons connected at a Chartered function last year … it was serendipity. Here are their stories.
In the words of the Wilsons
Many of us have tried to play bowls, either on holiday or on a very social basis, and don’t have a clue on what to do or how the game is played.
Most of us know that the bowl does not run in a straight line, but tends to bend. The bend is a built-in bias on one side of the bowl, marked with a small circle and a small “picture/decal” as opposed to a large circle and large picture on the other side.
Anyone can throw or roll a WRONG BIAS, a result of not concentrating when you are about to deliver your bowl, or from changing your mind from wanting to bowl a forehand or backhand, and then not checking to see what side the SMALL PICTURE/DECAL is on. It is not only the beginners that deliver a wrong bias, we even get Proteas, Provincial, District and first league players doing it.
So I took on the task of collecting money from anyone who delivered a wrong bias at our club, in the amount of R5.00 a time, and decided to donate the proceeds to a charity or some other deserving society.
Now this is actually a fun contribution, because when the bowlers have finished their game, they usually come into the bar for a drink or two, and I approach them with an old car hooter (that announces to all that they have delivered a wrong bias) and duly collect the R5.00.
Over the years, the amount has grown to R2000, which means collecting from about 400 people. The handover of the 2014 collection was on Saturday, 13 December, and it was to The Guide Dogs Association, via Bonnie Espie, whom we had met at a fun day that Chartered had organised at the Bryanston Sports Club.
By the way, the large group of Chartered clients had such a ball on that fun day, that the company may start a quarterly league or fun day from early 2015.
We have a coaching clinic every Saturday morning from 9:15 to 10:30 if anyone is interested (starting again from mid-January).
What makes my heart sing, asks Bonnie Espie
It’s so lekka to find a way to ‘give-back’ and love doing it!
I am a puppy raiser for the South African Guide Dogs Association. This means I get to take a seven-week old bundle of exuberance home, and approximately 10 months later, return a hopefully well-mannered one year-old dog ready to be taught by a qualified trainer to become the key to a blind or disabled person’s freedom.
Imagine my delight when at a well-organised and competitive fun day of Bowls with the Chartered team, I discovered that Ray and Laura Wilson ‘fine’ members of the Bowling Club whenever they have a wrong bias. The accumulated funds are handed over to the South African Guide Dogs Association at the end of the year.
I was invited by Ray and accompanied by 15 week old guide dog pup in training, Finley, to collect the generous donation.
Finley is my current pup, and she will go on to enhance the mobility, independence and dignity of a person who will love her as much as I do.
SA Guide Dogs Association (SAGA) trains dogs, not only for the blind, but service dogs for people confined to wheelchairs and for autistic and special needs children. A lesser known fact is that SAGA also trains practitioners to teach long-cane and daily living skills to those who would not be able to own a dog.
It only costs a visually or physically impaired person R105 to receive a guide or service dog (R5 for the dog, R100 for training, including 3 weeks accommodation, meals and all equipment).
Much needed funds for raising these special dogs come from donations, generous sponsors and ‘time’ given by volunteers. The need for ‘vollies’ volunteering for the association is huge, from various administrative tasks, to assistance in kennels and, of course, puppy raising. Please visit the website and see if you would love to assist.
For me, the journey of raising the pup, exposing it to the big wide world, and giving back my juvenile darling ready to be trained is an incredible journey of fulfillment … a journey filled with kitchen mishaps, chewed carpets, missing shoes, but topped with busting pride at seeing the confident pup that I raised, skillfully guiding someone down a busy street.
Thank you to Chartered Wealth for the great networking opportunity; you never fail to surprise me with great ideas. Thank you, Ray!
More details: http://www.guidedog.org.za/