Friends of Vision Australia luncheon focuses on real stories of inspiration
RESIDENTS of Euroa were invited to enjoy The Vision Australia Luncheon last Thursday at the Uniting Church Hall.
Guests came in numbers, 49 to be exact, and they were treated to not only a magnificent lunch, but also an educating talk from Ashleigh Malone, who is blind and has the help of a seeing eye dog.
Ashleigh’s brother James, who is also blind, accompanied her and provided entertainment for all.
His piano skills were on show and the vocals were wonderful, as the locals were able to enjoy some truly incredible skill from James as he played the classic George Gershwin “Summertime” tune.
There was genuine interest and questions surrounding the room at the end of Ashleigh’s talk, in which she discussed the grand benefits of being able to have a seeing eye dog.
“Friends of Vision Australia are so incredibly important to me and the money they have raised for me to be able to have a dog has changed my life,” Ashleigh said.
“For each dog it’s around $50,000 for training and it’s very reassuring for a blind person to be able to get one.
“It’s really an amazing transformation and it’s very important we have the resources to continue putting these dogs out in the community.”
President of Vision Australia, Deb Ellis, was the organiser of the day and said she was thrilled to be able to have events like this held in Euroa.
“It’s to let the community know that when we sit down the street and sell a raffle ticket, the money goes to helping out people like Ashleigh and James,” Mrs Ellis said.
“They’re able to see them here and hear their story and know their money is going to a good place.”
Ashleigh spoke of her normal life living in Melbourne, and how her blindness doesn’t stop her from doing normal day to day activities, both in the home and in the wider community.
She credited a lot of her courage to her dog Humphrey.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Ashleigh and James Malone were joined by their mum Christine (left) and grandmother Shirley Armstrong - who is originally from Bogie - during their visit to Euroa last week.
TELLING HER STORY: Ashleigh Malone shared several stories with the audience, and also noted that her seeing eye dog Humphrey is quite the sock stealer.
AN INCREDIBLE TALENT: James Malone showed off his brilliant piano and singing skills, which had the audience in awe.