After four years of massive success, local 14-year-old wunderkind Dean Morris is once again holding his Give Our Strays a Chance (GOSAC) fundraiser to raise awareness and support for stray and rejected animals.
The annual event – held this year at Forest Lakes Forum, Thornlie, on Saturday May 12 – has seen a swathe of local businesses take part in what is quickly becoming one of the largest events of it’s kind in the area.
“When I first started doing this, I was 10 years old, so it was pretty daunting,” Dean said.
“The first few years I had some businesses say no. That was fine – you can’t expect everyone to be on board – but it really did teach me that even when you get rejected sometimes, you can’t give up on something that means enough to you.”
Fortunately, the success of previous years – which has seen businesses, organisations and people from across the metro area make their way to Armadale to take part – has lead to more and more businesses lending their support, and now almost everyone involved in animal care is part of Dean’s work.
“It’s been incredible,” Dean said.
“In the last years there was a lot of travelling around to different businesses and explaining what the whole thing was and how they can help out. “Now I’ve had people contacting me and saying they want to take part.”
Dean has not lost any of his fervour for his work in the last four years, starting with the adoption of his beloved dog Hooch from a SAFE shelter in 2014.
Since then, Dean and Hooch have become celebrities within animal welfare circles.
“When I adopted Hooch and saw that so many of the shelters in Perth are full throughout the whole year, I knew I really wanted to do something to raise awareness about it,” Dean said.
That passion doesn’t stop in the local area either. Along with 17 other students, Dean will be travelling to Mongolia on a World Challenge program to help rural schoolchildren.
For someone like Dean, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise.
“We’ll be helping out school children, building things and stuff like that,” he said.
Dean has asked anyone who can lend support on GOSAC Day, including donations of dog and cat food, blankets, litter trays and anything else that can help out local shelters, to come down and take part on Saturday. “There’s going to be a big raffle and events, it’ll be great for families too.”