• DOG lovers have united with Specsavers Ópticas to help raise 1,325€ through a virtual dog walk.

Hundreds of people took part in the charity event to support the important work of the ONCE Foundation for Guide Dogs (FOPG). The charity breeds and trains guide dogs, so they can be placed free of charge with people who have severe visual impairment in the community, enabling them to live the fullest lives possible.

Jorge Martínez de Lizarduy Araico from Specsavers Ópticas Benidorm, praised the public for their generosity and also thanked his colleagues across all nine Specsavers Ópticas stores for their efforts during the fundraising campaign.

‘We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this fundraising campaign and donated. This is a great step towards raising the 5,000€ we have pledged to donate to FOPG at the end of the year. We will continue to collect money in the stores for the rest of the year and would appreciate any donations in the collection tins in our stores on the Costa Blanca. You can also donate online, please write SPEC in the box for your second surname so we can identify that it is part of our fundraising effort.’

The virtual dog walk took place between 26 April and 2 May, to coincide with International Guide Dog Day (28 April). As part of the campaign, guide dog user Daniel Lahitón explained why it is so important to be able to have his guide dog Gracie.

‘They act as our eyes and give us so much independence,’ he explained. ‘I would love it if many more people could have access to a guide dog, as it really has changed my life and I couldn’t live without her. Before I depended on my wife and my children so much, but now I am independent and I wish that many more people could have the same opportunity.’

Irene Garcia, Director of the ONCE Foundation in Fuengirola says that to breed, train and place a guide dog with someone, it costs approximately 35,000€. She was delighted to hear of the Specsavers Ópticas campaign and said that all contributions are welcome, as there is so much demand for guide dogs.

Specsavers Ópticas is an opticians with stores in Calpe, Jávea, Torrevieja, Benidorm, Guardamar del Segura and La Zenia on the Costa Blanca. To find your nearest Specsavers Ópticas store and donate visit www.specsavers.es or visit www.perrosguia.once.es to find out more about this fantastic charity.

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