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Dynamic duo raise hundreds for guide dogs charity


YOU'RE all as good as gold -- generous residents, traders, businesses and visitors have helped raise money towards a puppy for the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

It will be the second pup financed by kmfm listeners, Isle of Thanet Extra readers and people in the area, following another successful summer charity challenge by breakfast show presenter Johnny Lewis and Tracie Stevens, marketing manager at Westwood Cross retail centre.

The pair -- dressed as a dog and blindfolded respectively -- toured the island on Saturday and by the end of their tour had been given almost £1,000 in donations, with more to come from collection tins at registered outlets that will stay in place until mid September.

Johnny said: "Last summer's transport challenge made more than £7,000 for the charity and this year we wanted to hit the £10,000 mark in total to enable us to get a second puppy for training -- and I think we'll do it"

Charity champs Johnny and Tracie, led by helper Judy Moss, travelled around the area by train, taxi and even the mayor of Margate's car, to visit a range of destinations on their quest.

Johnny added: "It was stifling inside the dog costume and I could hardly see a thing as my glasses steamed up; Tracie was blindfolded, so we relied on helpers to guide us around.

"It was a fabulous day and we had lots of laughs, met some great people and once again it proved that despite the crippling economic recession and despite living in an area of recognised social hardship, the people who work and live in Thanet have hearts of gold."

Among those who supported the cause were Trish and Bill Murdock in Westgate who collected at a stall by their garden wall for many hours, making around £100 from passers-by. Others helped out with lifts and welcome refreshments on the route.

They also visited Broadstairs, Ramsgate, the veterinary hospital at Margate and officially opened the bathroom showroom at B&Q superstore at Westwood on their travels.

Mayor and mayoress Cllrs Mick and Shirley Tomlinson greeted the charity duo when they arrived in Margate, where visitors waiting to see the Dippers and Dunkers festival events in the old town quarter helped boost the collection.

Johnny added: "It was a tough challenge on a stifling hot and very muggy day and by the end we were all exhausted -- but it is for a fantastic cause and we hope we raised awareness of the charity's work, needs and aims."

If you want to make a donation, contact Johnny Lewis at Johnny.Lewis@kmfm.co.uk

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