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Sunday, 11 September 2011 00:00

Fete accompli

The 2011 Heatherdale Children’s Home annual fete has come and gone. Once again, Heatherdale’s main fundraising event of the year was a roaring success, with around R84 000 raised to help fund the Home’s operations for the next year.

“Most of the funds will go towards addressing our budget shortfall – ensuring our children remain fed, clothed, cared for and in school, and that our facilities and property are maintained satisfactorily,” explains Eddie Cyster, Heatherdale’s Director.

Held on the first Saturday in October, the fete drew crowds from across Cape Town, with around 350 to 400 people “coming through the stiles”.

“Our annual fete is something of a Heatherdale institution, having been run for the last 50 years,” Eddie remarks. “Besides being our biggest fundraiser, it is also a great opportunity to network with people and build partnerships.”

As people have come to expect, those who attended this year’s fete were rewarded with plenty of wonderful bargains and displays, and lots of fun and games for the whole family.

A wide range of stalls offered food, furniture, plants, toys, fabrics, clothing, books and just about anything else one could think of. They were run by volunteers from the Methodist Church and local schools.

According to Eddie, the food stalls were especially popular this year, catering to all manner of tastes.

“This year, we offered pretty much everything – ranging from Chinese to boerewors, burgers, and curry and rice.”

In terms of entertainment for the kids, a group of final-year UCT students put together a wonderful array of activities, including a “slippery slide”, a rodeo bull and face-painting sessions.

There was also a tea garden for the adults, with hot and cold drinks, confectionaries and a serene atmosphere on offer.

One of the highlights of the day was the song-and-dance variety show put on by the Heatherdale children.

Crucially, costs were kept to a minimum thanks to the wonderful contributions from the community.

“All items were donated,” says Eddie. “We just put up the stalls and marquis’, and set up the infrastructure, etc. We also hired a number of residents from the Owl night shelter in Lansdowne to keep the site clean and secure.”

While the amount raised was slightly short of last year’s, Eddie remains buoyant about the fete’s success.

“Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great, so people didn’t stay as long as they would have normally. The fact remains, though – more people attended this year’s fete than ever before!”

Reverend Hansrod the District Bishop of the MCSA opened the fete with a stirring address, and was presented with a custom-made Heatherdale sweater.

The Central Methodist Church was, in fact, the biggest contributor of the day, donating in excess of R20, 000. Loyal Heatherdale supporters, The Black Angels Motorcycle Club, were also standout contributors on the day, presenting the Home with various items, including a microwave, toiletries and stationery.

“Many people have told us how they found the fete to be both a rewarding and enjoyable experience, and clearly a good time was had by all,” says Eddie. “We are extremely grateful to all those who gave selflessly of their time, money and effort in ensuring this year’s fete was a huge success.”

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