MTR Smit receives bakkie

2019-05-29 06:02
Attending the handover at MTR Smit Children’s Haven are, from left, Williams Hunt PE sales representative, Reon Vorster, MTR Smit director Tanya Eales, MTR Smit board member, Fikile Mabhula, IRONMAN 4 the Kidz co-founder, Gary Stephenson, and Williams Hunt PE sales manager, Benji Erasmus.     Photo:supplied

Attending the handover at MTR Smit Children’s Haven are, from left, Williams Hunt PE sales representative, Reon Vorster, MTR Smit director Tanya Eales, MTR Smit board member, Fikile Mabhula, IRONMAN 4 the Kidz co-founder, Gary Stephenson, and Williams Hunt PE sales manager, Benji Erasmus. Photo:supplied

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SOME of Port Elizabeth’s most vulnerable children from MTR Smit Children’s Haven had reason to smile when they received a much-needed delivery bakkie from Isuzu franchise dealership, Williams Hunt PE recently.

The donation was made possible by IRONMAN 4 the Kidz South Africa, a charity affiliate of IRONMAN South Africa, which raises funds every year through the gallant efforts of ordinary men and women, who receive financial pledges for undertaking Nelson Mandela Bay’s IRONMAN African Championship – the now famous annual 226km endurance triathlon.

IRONMAN 4 the Kidz has raised more than R17 million since 2005 when co-founders, Garth Wright and Gary Stephenson, started the initiative. Thanks to their founding exploits and the dogged determination of hundreds of IRONMAN participants, MTR Smit Children’s Haven in Circular Drive boasts a new Isuzu workhorse.

Delighted MTR Smit Children’s Haven director, Tanya Eales, said the bakkie was vital for the routine collection of food and other critical donations to the home, which currently houses and cares for 94 children between the ages of three and 18. All the youngsters come from broken backgrounds and most have suffered varying degrees of abuse in their lives.

“Trauma has become normal for them. But, here, we love them all, our hearts absolutely beat for them. Thank you to IRONMAN, Isuzu and Williams Hunt PE – we are so dependent on food donations and we need a vehicle to pick them up. Now we have our bakkie to do those pick-ups,” Eales said.

MTR Smit Children’s Haven was an early beneficiary of IRONMAN 4 the Kidz and the relationship has continued over the years.

Stephenson, who makes an emotional return to IRONMAN racing this week at the 70.3 Durban following major heart surgery, was full of praise for the work carried out at MTR Smit Children’s Haven, which began life almost a century ago as an orphanage in Ugie in 1922.

Addressing Eales at the morning handover, he said, “You underplay your role here, what you do for these children. We do very little, we complete a race. But what you do – we could never raise enough money for.

“We know the government grants aren’t coming through like they should so it is nice to be able to give you what you need. Hopefully people can help us more to help you.”

Benji Erasmus, sales manager at Williams Hunt, Port Elizabeth, joked they had their “own race to run” in order to procure the bakkie, but added it was worth the hard work in the end. “We are very happy and proud to be involved.”

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