This year, Gosport Rotary Club raised more than £20,000 for local worthy charities, and one of our main fundraisers was a charity dog show in Walpole Park, Gosport, which raised more than £5,000.
Instead of giving cheques, we decided to buy equipment.
We promised £1,000 each to The Dogs Trust, Stubbington Ark and the PDSA.
The first to come across with their shopping list was the Dogs Trust in Shoreham, West Sussex.
We provided dog agility equipment to help exercise their dogs.
Gosport Rotary president Simon Mason and I, together with our wives, went to Shoreham to visit the Dog’s Trust Centre to see the wonderful set of agility equipment that the people of Gosport have funded through our club.
We are firm believers in buying items that are needed rather than just handing over cheques.
It is a much better way of showing the public what their money buys.
A large centre, with more than 50 kennels, we were amazed at how modern it looked, and how good the facilities were for the dogs awaiting rehoming.
Welcomed by Tracey Rae, the centre manager, we were given a guided tour of the facility.
Suffice to say we wanted to come home with at least four of the inmates.
They make a flat charge of £120 for each re-home regardless of size or breed, and try to pair up all dogs in kennels so that they are never lonely.
They are always on the lookout for treats to give their animals.
So a gift, however small, will always be appreciated.
They also take old mobile phones for recycling.
It was a wonderful hour spent enjoying their hospitality, before retiring to a local hostelry for lunch, then home.