Although the month of May is traditionally a quiet time in Hermanus, with fewer visitors and less trade, the town’s locals came out in full support of the last Hermanus First Fridays (HFF) Artwalk of the season on the evening of 3 May.

Building on the momentum created by the special preview of the Chameleon Exhibition the previous Friday at Art Thirst Galley, artwalkers had until 20:00 to bid on their favourite chameleon artworks, generously donated by artists in aid of Whale Coast Conservation’s Chameleon Rescue Project.

“Whale Coast Conservation would like to thank HFF and the Hermanus art community for their overwhelming support for this project. The amount raised by the art auction and the sale of children’s art, chameleon photographs and wrapping paper amounted to over R50 000,” said Anina Lee of Whale Coast Conservation.

“The biggest vote of thanks goes to Marion Zeegers, our Chameleon Rescue Project volunteer who conceived of the fundraiser and executed it with great skill. She has put her passion for the chameleons and their rescue into action in many ways. Thank you, Marion!”

Marion in turn extended her grateful thanks to the local artists, gallery owners, businesses, wine estates and restaurants for their unstinting support of this initiative. “People in this town are truly extraordinary.”

She added that the following individuals and businesses deserve special thanks: Daphne Bayer for creating the first awareness that our region’s chameleons were in danger; Leon Müller of Art Thirst for hosting the preview; Yolande van der Walt from the Windsor Hotel and Shane Savage from La Pentola for hosting Melanie and James Melville from Jordan Wines, who travelled all the way from Stellenbosch for the event; the Windsor Hotel for the breakfast voucher; Patrick Chapman for his talk; Liz Coates for getting Hermanus First Fridays on board; The Village NEWS for promoting the Chameleon Rescue Project; Sheraine van Wyk and Anina Lee from WCC, and all the volunteers for their love and dedication to save our precious little dragons.

“Last, but not least, a big thank you to all the people who so generously bid on and bought the art. Without their buy-in we could not have raised the much-needed funds for this project. Their support means we can rescue many more chameleons and give them a better chance at life.”

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