The eighth Stanford Stumble on 30 November again promises to be a not-to-be-missed event. Hosted on the Stanford Hills Estate, this unique fundraiser entails a 3 km or 5 km fun run/walk (or stumble) through the estate’s beautiful vineyards at the foot of the Kleinrivier Mountains, with several wine stations along the way where the participants are encouraged to quench their thirst.

Both routes end up back at The Tasting Room, the hub of the farm where a feast of live music, delicious food, craft beer and yes, more wine awaits. Guests dress up in their most outrageous costumes and there are plenty of fun activities and entertainment for the whole family. Best of all, the funds raised go to a very worthy cause that lies close to the heart of Stanford Hills’ owners, Jami and Peter Kastner.

Jami is the founder of The Butterfly Centre for special education situated in Stanford, which caters for children who do not fit into the mainstream environment for a variety of reasons. Most of their current students fall somewhere on the extremely vast Autism Spectrum, although not all have been formally diagnosed.

At the Centre these children, often previously marginalised, are given the opportunity to fulfil their own personal academic potential. This requires a very one-on-one approach by their skilled and dedicated staff members, combined with specialised learning techniques. The children also benefit from the involvement of The Butterfly Centre’s passionate volunteers and receive music, art and sports training.

Peter Kastner (Stanford Hills), Simone Heunis (Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse), Jami Kastner (Stanford Hills) and Claire Watt at the 2018 Stanford Stumble. PHOTOS: Taylum Meyer

Most of their students are unable to pay full fees, so fundraising is vital to continue to manage and grow the project. Which is why Jami was overjoyed when it was announced in September that The Butterfly Centre had been chosen as the Lighthouse to Lighthouse Ladies Walk’s chosen charity for 2020. These funds will go a long way towards realising their dream of building their own facility on farmland available on Stanford Hills.

Here, surrounded by nature and animals, the children will continue with their academic work while also being able to receive real practical skills training, which will allow them to live productive and purposeful lives as adults. The Municipal departure they have applied for allows for an educational facility for up to 40 children. Having started with Phase 1 this month, the aim is to be able to move the existing two classes of children from their current rented facility in Stanford to this part of the project by the start of the 2020 school year.

For more information on the Stanford Stumble, contact 028 341 0286 / 072 603 3521 or tastingroom@stanfordhills.co.za

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