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06 Dec 2023

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The Absa Run Your City Series (RYCS) Heritage Day Virtual Run’s eleven charities received an impressive combined total of R121 747.00 compliments of the generous runners who took part in the inaugural event on National Heritage Day (Thursday 24 September 2020).

The eleven charities that benefitted from the donations are:  The Cape Of Good Hope SPCA, Die Burger Kinderfonds, help2read, Cotlands, Durban & Coast SPCA, TREE, LIV Village, iThemba Lethu, Johannesburg SPCA, Johannesburg Heritage Foundation and Reach For A Dream Foundation.

It means the world to us to be part of an event that reminds all South Africans that we are unified by the things that we love, even if we differ culturally,” says Belinda Abraham, Spokesperson for The Cape of Good Hope SPCA.  “The Cape of Good Hope SPCA has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown. Many families have been economically compromised, some surrendering their pets into our care because they can no longer afford to keep them while others are now having to make use of our welfare services.  This donation means so much to us because it will not only enable us to keep many little tummies full but also reminds us how many people care about our cause.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to Stillwater Sports and event sponsors for enabling us to use this event as a fundraising platform, and every runner who chose to make their race count by choosing our charity.”

“We love being a part of the RYCS, not only because of the exposure that we receive and the funds that are generated for Die Burger Kinderfonds, but also because of the wonderful ‘gees’ of the participants,” says Madelein Venter, Marketing Manager of the Afrikaans News Division within Media24.  “The positive energy on the day was inspiring, especially after a challenging year.  It was wonderful to see the support that this event received.  I ran/walked and absolutely loved it.  The donation is a very welcome boost and will be utilized to provide specialized therapeutic services for less-fortunate children in the Western Cape through one of the local charities that we support.”

According to Nikki Knowler, Business Development Manager at help2read, being an official charity of the RYCS Heritage Day Virtual Run is an amazing opportunity.  “The RYCS gives us an opportunity to raise vital awareness and funds for primary school literacy development.  This donation will go towards supporting our Literacy Tutor and Volunteer Reading programmes that take place at government primary schools in the Western Cape and in Diepsloot and Alexandra in Gauteng. These programmes provide vital one-on-one support to learners who are behind with their reading as well as critical employment to unemployed youth.”

“2020 has been a challenging year for NPOs,” says Natalie Frank, Cotlands Marketing and Communications Manager.  “As per a Department of Social Development directive, Cotlands had to close its early childhood development (ECD) programmes from the end of March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, and as a result, our direct service delivery programmes were placed on hold during this period. The re-opening of our ECD programmes requires us to carry high unbudgeted costs for PPE and health and safety resources. Thanks to the partnership with the RYCS, we have continued to receive exposure from this event for our cause. The funds raised is a great help to assist us in providing much needed services to the children we serve.”

We are so honored to still be part of this event and are very grateful that this is one event we didn’t have to scratch off of our calendar in 2020,” says Tanya Fleischer, Marketing Manager at Durban & Coast SPCA.  “We are blown away by the generosity of the runners.  Thank you to everyone who made a donation! COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on our organisation so every cent counts.”

According to Ruby Motaung, Director of TREE (Training and Resources in Early Education), TREE is a non-profit organization that is solely reliant on donations.  “It’s these donations that help TREE improve the gaps caused by the lack of ECD (early childhood development) support within our rural communities.  The donation will be used to support our ECD centers with nutrition, resources and training. COVID-19 has made food relief one of the biggest concerns right now.  Our goal is to ensure that no child will go hungry.”

“We are so grateful to the RYCS Team and sponsors for organizing such a fantastic event and making it so easy for a charity to raise awareness and funds through this event,” says Carita McCririe, LIV Village Durban.  “We are grateful for the support and the donation.  It is such a blessing, especially in such hard-financial times.  The funds will go towards the daily running of the village to cover food, water, electricity, transport and more.” 

“In the midst of chaos the RYCS has celebrated the rich Heritage we have as South Africans and chose to support our children – the future generation of this incredible nation.  We are so grateful,” says Melissa Leslie, Director iThemba Lethu.  “This donation will go a long way to care for the babies in our transition homes.  Nappies are a necessity, so this will help us to keep little bums dry and hearts happy! Every cent helps and together we can make a difference.  Thank you.”

We never take anything for granted and count our blessings everyday so to be chosen and acknowledged for what we do for our animals, is an huge blessing, as we can’t do it without the public’s love and support,” says Liana Marx, Public Relations Manager at Johannesburg SPCA.  “We loved seeing people running and having a great time on National Heritage Day.  COVID-19 has had an impact on so many lives, but on 24 September people put their problems and struggles on hold to come out and show their support.  Being a charity of the RYCS is an absolute blessing from above.  We are thankful for this donation and support.  The funds will be used to cover the medical expenses of injured and abused animals.  This wonderful donation will definitely help cover a lot of those expenses.”

According to Flo Bird, Vice Chairman at the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation, the RYCS Heritage Day Virtual Run was the ideal opportunity for Joburg residents to see Johannesburg’s rich Heritage.  “We really appreciate the support received and would like to congratulate all the runners who completed the run this year.  The funds will go towards a restoration project for a treasured stained-glass window in the Holy Trinity Church in Braamfontein.”

“The global pandemic has left our dreamers more vulnerable than ever before,” says Roxanne Manuel, Marketing Manager at Reach for a Dream.  “The donation received is highly appreciated, especially at this time. Raising funds has been tougher than usual and as a result we have a list of dreamers in waiting.  The funds will be used to inspire hope and strength in the life of a child suffering from a life-threatening illness through the fulfilment of dreams.  The Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank the RYCS Team, sponsors and runners for their continued support and for believing in the power of making dreams come true.” 

About the Absa RYCS Heritage Day Virtual RunAn exciting addition to the existing RYCS portfolio of events, the 2020 Heritage Day celebrations got off to an early start with just over 15 000 runners nationwide taking on the much anticipated Absa RYCS Heritage Day Virtual Run on Thursday 24 September.  To read the full Race Report visit CLICK HERE

For more information on the inaugural Absa RYCS Heritage Day Virtual Run read through the Event DigiMag CLICK HERE 

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For further information on the Absa Run Your City Series Heritage Day Virtual Run email entries@thecapetown12.com, entries@durban10k.com or entries@joburg10k.com or visit https://runyourcityseries.com/