Heatherdale Children’s Home, a Child and Youth Care Centre based in Athlone, Cape Town, prides itself on recognising and developing the potential of the children that seek refuge there. Sometimes though, it is important to recognise and develop the potential not just of children but of the physical environment in which the children find themselves.
Over the years, Heatherdale’s various fundraising events have helped bolster and maintain the integrity of the Home’s facilities. The annual Heatherdale Golf Day has become a cornerstone of these fundraising efforts, and has, in the past, enabled Heatherdale to build a computer room, resuscitate a swimming a pool, and carry out much-needed renovations throughout the premises.
This year’s Golf Day was no exception, with around R30 000 cash being raised, in addition to R20 000 worth of paint.
“The money will go towards equipping the computer room with new computers and additional book shelves, and will also be used to upgrade the boys’ rooms with new curtains, bedding and cupboards,” says Heatherdale Director, Eddie Cyster. “The paint will be used to ‘spruce up the walls.”
As in previous years, the event was put together by the peerless “Backroom Boyz” – a group of guys affiliated with the Methodist Church, who have made it their mission to support Heatherdale, and other NGOs, in whatever way they can. Ably assisted and supported by their spouses and partners, the Backroom Boyz arranged the golf day at the Rondebosch Golf Club.
“Once again, a full house of corporate sponsors turned up to support us, many of whom had attended the Heatherdale Golf Day in previous years,” says Eddie, proudly. “There were 145 golfers in total, with four-baller teams paying R1450, and individual entrants, R380 per person. Corporates paid R2600 to sponsor a hole. Refreshments were provided throughout the day.”
To cap things off, a special prize-giving dinner was held at the Vodacom Driving Range in Wynberg.
“Every golfer attended the ‘after party’, simply because everybody had had a fabulous time, enjoying the golf and enjoying each other’s company,” explains Eddie. “They were only too pleased to lend further support to such a fun event and such a great cause.”
A singular feature of the prize-giving ceremony – and perhaps a nice metaphor for the inclusiveness of Heatherdale itself – was that everyone received a prize. Even the day’s worst golfer received a prize – described, rather euphemistically, as “playing the most golf on the day”.
“Prizes included bottles of (Retief Goosen) wine, golf shirts, gloves, bags, and much more,” says Eddie. “We managed to raise a further funds by auctioning off various items , including vintage wines, a travel package, a cricket bat signed by the Cape Cobras, and a certified framed and signed photograph of Jacques Kallis (valued at R10 000).”
Eddie received an extra fillip, when a representative from ACSA (Airport Company of South Africa), who had played golf on the day, was so inspired, that he approached ACSA with a view to convincing them to become long term supporters of Heatherdale.
“ACSA have subsequently offered to source donations on behalf of Heatherdale through their CSI programme, and have already pledged R30 000 worth of items that we are in need of.”
And it didn’t end there.
“On the day, many people offered their services in kind,” says Eddie, smiling. “We see the golf day as a gateway to building long-term,
sustainable relationships that go way beyond the event itself.”
Eddie offers his heartfelt thanks to all those who participated in the golf day.
“We are, once again, eternally grateful to all of our sponsors on the day,” he says in closing. “These are people who recognise
the potential of a place like Heatherdale, and, more importantly, the potential of the children who reside there, and have shown
themselves willing to open their hearts and invest generously in this potential.”
Heatherdale Children’s Home would like to acknowledge the sponsors of the Golf Day:
Berg Erasmus Quantity Surveyors (BEQS)
Conrad Project Services (CPS)