Puppy pounds

Rowing event to take place in the middle of Pontefract town centre to raise funds for Guide Dogs. Pictured in what will be a new training area at Fitness Base (Pontefract) are, L to R) John England, Graham Owen with his dog, Gunner, Jane Hackett and Lynda Woodward.'p306a249
Rowing event to take place in the middle of Pontefract town centre to raise funds for Guide Dogs. Pictured in what will be a new training area at Fitness Base (Pontefract) are, L to R) John England, Graham Owen with his dog, Gunner, Jane Hackett and Lynda Woodward.'p306a249

INSPIRATIONAL blind fundraiser Graham Owen hopes to raise thousands of pounds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association by rowing 100km in Pontefract town centre.

Mr Owen, of Fairburn, and a team of seven fundraisers will take turns on a rowing machine on Beastfair on Wednesday December 12 to raise cash for the charity which trains guide dogs.

He said: “It costs £5,000 to pay for a puppy’s first year of guide dog training and £50,000 to pay for it over the course of its life.

“There are 4,600 working guide dogs in the UK at the moment, so millions need to be raised to fund this charity, which receives no government support.

“A guide dog gives people independence and as my friend said, a guide dog puppy isn’t for Christmas, it’s to give someone a life.”

The Guide Dogs’ Association provided Mr Owen with his Norwegian black Labrador Gunner in 2007 after he was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disorder which caused him to gradually lose his sight from 2001.

The fundraisers will be bucket collecting during the rowathon from 9.30am to 4pm.