In April 2016, we were introduced to a new member of the Guide Dogs WA family. Anthony ‘Tony’ Lightfoot had lost his battle with a long illness in 2014, leaving a gift in his Will to support the work of the Guide Dog program in WA.
Prior to this notification, Tony was not known to us. He had not given to us before, and yet he had decided to make us the charity beneficiary of his estate—to the value of more than $550,000.
We were astounded at this selfless act, and our Chief Operating Officer Debra Barnes, Planned Giving Coordinator Carol Morfitt and Public Relations Ambassadog Gidgee attended a small ceremony in April to honour Tony and receive the cheque that would be the start of something huge for Guide Dogs WA.
“The generous gift left in Tony’s Will has helped to support the life-changing work of our Guide Dogs. Because of his heartfelt generosity, Tony’s legacy will live on for many years to come by providing freedom, independence and companionship to many West Australians living with blindness and vision impairment.” – Debra Barnes, Chief Operating Officer.
Tony’s gift has helped the Guide Dog program in several ways—including the purchase of three new Guide Dog Puppies. He has also supported the training, matching and placement of 11 new Guide Dogs with West Australians in need.
He has also supported the training of 35 Guide Dogs in training out in the community right now. Further, he has supported the ongoing training and client support of more than 50 working Guide Dog Partnerships across the WA community.
And he has supported the establishment and ensured the sustainability of our flagship Guide Dog Trainer Cadet Program. This program is the first of its kind in WA, and will allow us to increase our capacity of Guide Dog Trainers—meaning that we can continue to train qualified Guide Dogs, now and into the future.
“It takes a special kind of person to selflessly assist others in this way. On behalf of the Guide Dog Team and the wider organisation, I am extremely grateful for his gift, and hope to encourage others with his inspiring tale,” said Debra.
If you, like Tony, would like to contribute to the training of Guide Dogs in WA by leaving a lasting legacy and changing the lives of West Australians for years to come, you can learn more on our Gifts in Will page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.