Players in the SPAR Charity Golf Day survived breezy conditions at Humewood in Port Elizabeth to dig deep into their pockets as the 22nd edition of the event resulted in a bonanza for the beneficiaries.
After they had each received a generous amount of R35 000, beneficiary representatives of Love Story, Smile Foundation and Wings and Wishes were left staggered when the SPAR head office in Durban doubled the amount to R70 000 each.
The man to make the announcement was, ironically, group housebrands manager Graham Claassens, the instigator of the golf day initiative more than two decades ago when he worked in Port Elizabeth.
SPAR Eastern Cape managing director Conrad Isaac paid tribute to Claassens, as well as former Eastern Cape MD Bill Brown, both of whom took part in the golf day.
SPAR EC marketing director Abri Swart paid tribute to the suppliers for their generous support of the day.
“We merely facilitate this event and I want to single out those who really dig deep into their pockets to make this a profitable exercise,” he said.
“Without our generous suppliers and sponsors, this event simply wouldn’t exist.”
Swart also acknowledged the charity organisations for going beyond the call of duty.
“These organisations are truly selfless in supporting those in need and it is an honour to support them.”
Tanya Jackson of the Smile Foundation said they were ecstatic at the generous donation.
“SPAR have supported us over a number of years through visiting our Smile Week at the Provincial Hospital and by assisting us at the River Mile,” she said.
“This is the first time we have been involved with the golf day and we are very excited about that.”
Jackson said the funds would be used to cover the various needs of children with facial conditions – including surgery, transport and consumables – as well as to train surgeons countrywide.
Love Story’s Ryan le Roux said the donation “was amazing”.
“This sort of contribution helps us to distribute more food parcels and to impact more people,” he said.
“We just could not achieve what we do without the support of organisations like SPAR, who do a lot more for us than just this golf day.”
He said Love Story’s primary objective was to make sure the homeless and the needy were fed, supplying around 45 000 meals a month across 20 to 25 soup kitchens in the metro.
Wings and Wishes manager Inge Human, whose organisation is based in PE, said the support they had received was incredible.
“We never say no to a child who needs critical surgery and, as you can understand, flights can get expensive because we always cater for a child and a parent.
“This sort of support just enables us to help more people in need of assistance.”
She said they helped about 160 families per month.
“It’s tough for non-government agencies out there and this is wonderful support. We are very grateful to SPAR Eastern Cape for this opportunity.”