With Bunnings having to cancel their traditional weekend sausage sizzle during Covid restrictions, many charities and local community groups across Australia and New Zealand were unable to raise their needed funds by selling a snag in bread to dedicated DIY shoppers.

Bunnings was quick to recognise the impact this would have and devised some staff ‘challenges’ to help raise team morale and keep doing their part to support groups and charities in need. The ‘challenges’ each had a theme and the store with the winning entry got to nominate a charity or community group of their choice to win $10,000 as the main prize or $5000 for the runner up.

Enter Alison Allan, Activities Organiser at Bunnings Chirnside Park and fur-mum to Xander, one of our wonderful Assistance dogs that supports her son Joshua.

“Oh I love a challenge,” she laughed. “The first one was a dance challenge; the second theme was around mental health, the third was ‘Kindness’. Our store had managed to win a couple of runner up prizes of $5000 that were awarded to local charities but I was really hoping there would be a lip sync challenge as I already had an idea in mind”.

That old adage of ‘careful what you wish for’ certainly came true when the last challenge was announced.

“Imagine being told the last challenge involves lip syncing and that same week find out the state where you live has made wearing face masks mandatory,” Alison said. “I could not believe it…how was I going to make this work when half our faces are covered?”

Never let logistics get in the way of success as Alison, who is very much about inclusion, decided to teach her team how to use sign language to ‘sing’ the lyrics to Queen’s rock anthem, We are the Champions. Needless to say the video almost went viral, Croydon won the challenge and after a storewide poll, Dogs for Kids was chosen as the recipient charity and awarded the $10,000 Bunnings donation.

“The song choice was also relevant for the store as we felt Victoria had really taken a battering with Covid restrictions and it was an acknowledgement for all the hard work done by each and every Victorian during those few months of lockdown,” she said.

Dogs for Kids would like to thank the very talented team at Bunnings Croydon for slaying the lip sync competition and choosing us for the win, Alison for her creativity and motivation, and Bunnings Australia for the ongoing support they show charities in need each and every weekend through their sausage sizzles. We are very grateful.

Photo: Alison (holding the cheque) with Dogs for Kids trainer Steph (seated middle) and some of the very talented lip syncers from Bunnings Croydon…with some of our gorgeous pups

Author Dogs For Kids

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