Felicity gets her guardian dog

Responsive: Felicity Baker with her epilepsy response dog Ernie that she gained with the help of City Memorial Bowls Club's bingo sessions. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Responsive: Felicity Baker with her epilepsy response dog Ernie that she gained with the help of City Memorial Bowls Club's bingo sessions. Picture: Rob Gunstone

THE City Memorial Bowls Club’s weekly bingo sessions played a big part in Felicity Baker getting an epilepsy response dog last month so on Monday she showed her gratitude.

It was not so much with words but with the obvious affection she has for her dog Ernie that showed the crowd at the bingo session their money had been awarded well.

The club’s bingo session last year donated $10,000 to the campaign by Felicity’s mother Annie Baker to raise $25,000 to buy the dog that alerts people that eight-year-old Felicity has had an epileptic seizure or is about to have one. 

Ms Baker, of Portland, said Felicity had an average of about three seizures a week and Ernie alerted her to one of them only five days after arriving last month.

A variety of other fund raising events ranging from a bowls day at City Memorial, a lunch at Portland Football club, a high tea at St Joseph’s, a bus to the Dunkeld races and numerous raffles raised the remainder of the $25,000 cost for Ernie.

The donation for Felicity’s seizure response dog was part of about $110,000 the bowls club bingo organisers have made in the past eight years.

More than $80,000 was donated to South West Healthcare’s cancer treatment services, $10,000 to Peter’s Project and $10,000 to the Standing Tall Warrnambool youth mentoring service.

The Monday bingo sessions were previously run entirely by volunteers but are now being run by the City Memorial Bowls Club with the help of volunteers.

One of the principal volunteers, Pauline Burleigh, said she wanted to step back from the commitment after seven years in the role and it had been difficult to find replacements.

Community and sporting groups seeking donations or sponsorship are invited to apply to the club by January 17.

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