As announced at IPDGA Alison and Christies Groom Pro Seminars we would like to introduce our new award for our members. You can now nominate someone to receive this award by visiting the page on our website under about tab or click on this picture.
Many thanks to Member Lorraine for a fabulous image and Mark for help with the graphic layout.
If you have not already heard about this award here is a lovely introduction from our Acting Chairperson Karina Kerrigan
Introducing our Spirit of Mary Toland Award
In June 1996 our one and only grooming supplies shop in Ireland – Allied Veterinary Products – decided that they would hold a grooming workshop. This was the first of its kind in Ireland outside of a breed club.
Pat Kavanagh at AVP saw the rise in demand for the few bits of equipment that they carried and decided to put together something to pull all these groomers to a seminar. Us oldies appreciate the suppliers we have now – you had a choice then of an oster a5 or aesculap (mad money) and blades were restricted to 10,7,5,4 skip for oster. Aescaulap had a wider range of blades but they were pricey. Basic 6” roseline and double sided thinners and the 160 all breed book – their catalogue fitted on a postcard!!
Diane North and Joanne Angus were invited over to run the workshop (click on green text below)
and Pat and his staff rang around all their grooming products clientel to convince us to bring a dog washed, dried and prepped to work on under tuition. Never before were so many groomers in the same room, let alone working in front of each other, there was a very suspicious vibe around then. I hadn't even met another groomer before that day.
So about 30 of us did the workshop, Mary was one table across and in front of me with her clients dog , Nicoli, the most beautifully behaved Kerry Blue.
Towards the end of the day Diane North mentioned that we had made the first step and should get together and form a grooming association. Mary Toland made it her business to get each persons phone number and within 2 weeks had rang everyone and set up another meeting in AVP's shop on Wellington Quay.
Along with a meeting to discuss formation of an association Mary was demonstrating grooming along with her newest gadget the Designer Dog Gizmo. The Gizmo was one of the most powerful blasters of its time. Hers still works today – god are they noisey. She had a retriever and proceeded to blast out the dead coat all over AVP's lovely carpeted shop and shelves of products. There was another meeting or two before it emerged that a core group of people kept turning up and the discussions got more intense about the association formation. And the formalities were put in place and the founder members were signed in. Some of our remaing founders are still actively involved, Freda, Jenny, Suzanne, Margaret, Natasja, Hilda and myself
Marys core belief was that the IPDGA was primarily an association for groomers. Where we could meet, chat, network and help each other out. One great big support group.This makes us a cut above any other grooming association, any visiting judges or demonstrators always comment on what a great atmosphere there is at our events. How friendly we are, they all admire how we just gel as a group.
And that is down to Marys vision when she was pulling together this grooming association, it wasn't just going to be another group. It had a purpose, to promote communication/ networking/ friendship between all our members.
So we wanted to create a fitting memorial/ rememberance award to keep Mary in our hearts. I hate to use the term memorial because it is still so hard to believe that she has left us. We want to ensure that the important core value of our association isn't lost in the future generations.
So we have created The Spirit of Mary Toland Award, and basically it is for you the IPDGA members to go to and nominate another IPDGA member for something they have done that has made a pleasant difference for you. It could be a little a gesture like chatting at a seminar when you were feeling a little lost, offering a lift to an event, being a listening ear on the phone/facebook, or even helping you out by lending something – infinate scenarios – but something that made a difference for you. Someone who was just generous in spirit to you who made your day go a little better. Someone who has the spirit of Mary- funny, generous, friendly, chatty all of those adjectives we read on the timeline after she passed away.
The nominations and the stories with them will be sent to Marys family, Pat, Rebecca, Sarah and Nicola for them to choose whom they feel deserves it for this year and it will be presented each October.
So the aim of The Spirit of Mary Toland Award will be to ensure that the friendships, networking and communication the core values of the association are kept alive . Hopefully by having people think like that that the reverse will happen, the members will keep an open mind as to how they can make a fellow members experience better, make them feel better, do something nice , open your hearts and keep the spirit of Mary alive. A cyber hug /text or phone call now and then can just be that bit of support someone needs.
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