No one is going to take the wind out of the Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust’s sails on 19 October at 12pm at the Waterfront, Cape Town when we participate as Friendly Pirates in the Great Optimist Race. The Trust is very fortunate that Gavin Seaton from Starbrite selected them as his charity of choice for this fundraising race.
Between 35 and 40 Optimist Children’s dinghies will be sailing to raise money for their chosen charity and the Little Optimist Trust. Support our dinghy in The Great Optimist Race 2019 and help us not only make it first across the finishing line, but also onto the Fundraising Leaderboard.
We will be competing on the day with other charities for much needed funds. The Trust has been servicing the fundraising needs of the Tygerberg Children’s wing for many years, often against many odds. Whilst around 44,000 kids (mostly from the surrounding areas such as Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha etc.) go through this world-leading medical facility per annum, this hospital often does not receive its fair share of support.
Tygerberg Hospital provides specialist medical care for more than half of the babies and children in the Western Cape, who come almost exclusively from indigent communities, and draws child patients from as far as the Northern and Eastern Cape. Annually, approximately 15 000 babies and children are admitted to the ±300 inpatient beds at Tygerberg Hospital. Many of these children, remain in hospital for lengthy periods of time. This hospital is close to our hearts, because of our unique successes and service to the community.
In the Great Optimist Race, dinghies will be raced by adults made up of medical survivors, local celebrities and Captains of Industry, some of whom have only learned to sail days before. This unique race is all about overcoming odds and surviving. It’s about inspiring sick and needy kids to never ever give up and find a passion to live for. Greg Bertish, the founder of The Little Optimist Trust, will be sailing his beloved Optimist which kept him safe over 200km on the open ocean and which has already helped him raise over R1.5 million in the last few years.
As famously said by William Shedd, ‘A ship in a harbour is safe but that is not what ships are for’.
Jason Falken, the CEO of the Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust, says boats and sailing makes for a great metaphor of life. Sailing is as much about the destination as it is about the journey and the experience. This campaign is mostly about fun, but what a great way for kids to experience something new, meaningful and exciting.
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