KZN sports stars and residents open their hearts to help raise R1,65 mln for children

2014-11-24 00:00

THERE was a tingling in the air as East Coast Radio’s Damon Beard announced that the station’s Toy Story with Game campaign had received a whopping R1 649 612 to assist the province’s destitute children.

Among those who donated their time to man the phones in the Fountain Court of the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Westville were Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos; musicians Lloyd Cele, DJ Tira, Matthew Mole, Mandoza, Gangs of Ballet, Majozi, Rubber Duc; Miss eThekwini Lisanne Lazarus; as well as sports stars Cameron Delport from the Dolphins, and Tonderai Chavhanga and Francois Kleinhans from the Sharks.

The pledge lines, which opened at 5.30 am and closed at 6 pm on Friday, rang ­non-stop throughout the day as people across the province pledged donations large and small.

“We’d like to thank every single person and business in KZN who has given selflessly today for the sake of our children,” said East Coast Radio’s general manager, Trish Taylor.

Darren Maule and the East Coast Breakfast team raised the bar early in the day, with R545 000 in donations.

And Maule made good on his promise to dye his hair “Eminem blond” after accepting the challenge from listeners. “I can tell blond jokes now,” he said, “because I’m one of them!”

eThekwini mayor James Nxumlao pledged R1 000 from his own pocket when he visited the Pavilion.

“It is the responsibility of everyone to help the children of our province because they are our future leaders,” Nxumalo said.

“Therefore as a municipality we have decided to support the campaign to assist child-headed households, especially those who have lost their parents to HIV/Aids.

“All of us have to support initiatives like this.”

Every cent of the money pledged on Friday will be used to buy food parcels for underprivileged children in the province, in particular child-headed households.

Each is valued at R350 and contains items that can feed a family of four to six for around five weeks.

This ensures the children do not go hungry over the long end-of-year school holidays.

• arts@witness.co.za

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