“I’m in awe of how much the Overstrand does for its people. This is truly a caring community,” said Ald Sakkie Franken, Mayor of the Overberg District Municipality, at the official handover ceremony of the Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse Ladies Walk. “Please don’t stop; keep doing what you’re doing as the need is great,” he urged.
There was great anticipation and excitement at the handover, as the chosen charities of the 2019 L2L Ladies Walk waited to hear the exact amounts that were raised by the 120 ladies who participated in this year’s event. The main charity was Camphill School Hermanus, with the Overstrand Association for Persons with Disabilities (OAPD) and Overberg Wheelchair Association (OWA) as the runner-up charities.
The handover celebrations were hosted on Wednesday evening, 3 April, at Die Plaaskombuis in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley – an apt setting as the owner of the restaurant, Nita Lotter, had participated in the first L2L Walk in 2006 and several thereafter. Among the guests were Deputy Mayor, Elnora Gillion, L2L patron, Nicolette Johnson and her husband Robert, and representatives from L2L’s main sponsor, SPAR Western Cape, including Elsabé van Zyl (advertising manager) and Andrew Francis (general manager of TBWA), and Bern van Niekerk (SPAR Gateway, Eastcliff, Kleinmond and Gansbaai) and his wife, Estelle (also an L2L walker).
The L2L Committee, chaired by Ronelle van Zyl, went to great lengths to thank each and every individual, business and organisation that supported the walk this year. As a non-profit organisation, L2L is run entirely by female volunteers who do not benefit or receive any funds for their efforts. Each registered walker needs to raise a minimum of R4 000, but the ladies have managed to increase their targets over the years.
This year was no exception, with Les Clark, the oldest walker and a veteran of 12 L2L Walks, raising an astonishing amount of just over R49 000. The 78-year-old Les received a standing ovation and quipped that she would continue participating in the annual 100 km coastal hike “for as long as my legs will carry me”.
There were tears of joy when it was finally announced that a total of R677 677.39 – the largest amount in the history of L2L – had been raised by the walkers for Camphill School. Jeanne-Marie Botha, principal of the school, and Genevieve Linney, PR officer and fundraiser, expressed their sincere gratitude and said they commended the spirit of the L2L ladies. “You are such an inspiration to us all and it was an honour to hang those medals around your necks at the Danger Point Lighthouse finishing line,” said Genevieve.
Marco Dunston and Julius Booysen from OAPD and Val Kwaan from OWA were equally delighted to receive their donation of R50 000 as the runner-up charities.