Angela is one of Dogstar’s Trustees and has been an avid fundraiser for the last 7-8 years. During this time she has raised over £4000 - an amazing achievement. Angela works at Midsummers Veterinary Clinic where the staff and their clients all enjoy getting involved to help support their chosen charity - Dogstar Foundation - by selling handmade items, having a 50p jar by the till, and hosting quiz nights throughout the year. We spoke to Angela to find out more about her fabulous fundraising activities and Midsummers’ colleagues and clients’ fantastic work.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. How did Midsummers start fundraising for Dogstar Foundation?
As a practice we knew Sam & Mark before Dogstar was founded. We were aware of their commitment to welfare groups in the UK and regularly had them visiting the practice with dogs they were 'fostering'. We knew how much Sam wanted to work with the dogs of Sri Lanka, and we helped in whatever way we could. Once they had set up Dogstar Foundation, it seemed only natural to have them as our charity of choice at the practice.n Our clients readily accepted that we support a charity that wasn't based in the UK, and there have been many conversations over the desk about the plight of the street dogs.
What was the first fundraising activity you did?
The first one, which we still do, is at our reception area at work. I sell small pots and jars of dog & cat treats for 50p all year round, and I loosely base them on whatever seasonal theme there might be at the time. The 50p pot is just on reception but positioned where people pay their bills and it really is amazing how easy it is to get people to put money in there!! We use a Royal Canin kibble measuring cup just to emphasise the food theme and it really works!
Do you do other seasonal fundraisers?
At Christmas I do the Dog Stockings & Cat Bags. These are really popular and I sell them for £1.50 which gives a profit of about 70p a stocking, and over the Christmas period we can raise around £70-80 each year. Many an evening is spent making these stockings with a drooling Labrador watching me, waiting for me to drop something. We also have a wonderful lady who keeps a constant supply of knitted catnip cat toys coming in to sell in aid of Dogstar. She knits chicks at Easter and stockings at Christmas too. She also made ALL the mince pies for our Christmas Quiz! She's amazing.
Your main event is the quiz nights. How did they start?
The Quiz Nights started off as a one-off bit of fun but they have certainly become a bit of a tradition. I try and run them 3-4 times a year, and if the gap between quizzes is too long, I start getting phone calls asking when the next one is! They are hard work but they are such fun on the night. There is a lot of friendly banter and heckling - and there is definitely a competitive edge! There are no extravagant prizes but no one seems to care.
I started them about 7-8 years ago in the flat above the practice, but they got so popular we outgrew the flat and had to start using community centres. We now have a regular crowd of around 45 that attend and it seems to grow a little bit more each time. We charge £4 a ticket and this includes refreshments. We always try to give the quiz a theme to add to the fun, as you can see by the photos! We also hold a raffle and sometimes a silent auction for a high end or donated item.
We ask quizzers to bring along a tin of cat food to donate to the local branch of the RSPCA, just so that we are doing something proactive for a local charity. Most are hugely generous and we usually end up with a mountain of food.
That sounds like a lot of work. Do you have help to run the quiz?
Tam & Jools Kendall, and Andy my husband, all help with the quiz nights. Tam works the kitchen whilst Jools is the very entertaining Quiz Master. Andy tends to be the go-fer and does as he's told. The people who attend the quizzes also donate raffle prizes too. If they can't make the quiz night I quite often find an envelope left for me at work with a donation. They are all truly generous.
Have you done any other fundraisers?
Tam, Andy & I have also done a few stalls at local events - doing hook a duck and other games. These went well but unfortunately our time constraints have meant these are a thing of the past but we did what we could and raised quite a bit!
Everyone at Dogstar especially Sam and Mark are so grateful for all your effort, time and support, and the support of everyone else that gets involved organising, attending and donating. Thank you all so much, and to Midsummer Vets for choosing Dogstar as their chosen charity. We couldn’t do the work for the street dogs in Sri Lanka without supporters like you.
Thank you, I have seen Dogstar Foundation grow from a seed in Sam's mind to the amazing charity that it is now and I am proud to support and to be part of the Dogstar family.
If you would like to help Dogstar by holding your own quiz or small fundraiser, please contact us and we can provide you with leaflets and other branded material.