Wheelchair Wednesday campaign hits target of 1 000

2019-09-25 06:01
At the back from left, Selwyn Willis, of KingfisherFM, Debadene Baatjies and Alan Stapleton, of SPAR Eastern Cape and Brian Bezuidenhout of APD. In front are recipients, Mavis Holloway and Ephetia Trato. photo:SUPPLIED

At the back from left, Selwyn Willis, of KingfisherFM, Debadene Baatjies and Alan Stapleton, of SPAR Eastern Cape and Brian Bezuidenhout of APD. In front are recipients, Mavis Holloway and Ephetia Trato. photo:SUPPLIED

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THE SPAR Wheelchair Wednesday campaign recently handed over the 1 000th wheelchair to a deserving recipient last week.

It was a day of landmarks at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth when SPAR Eastern Cape and the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities Nelson Mandela Bay (APD), celebrated the eighth year of the project’s existence.

From its start in 2012, when enough money was raised to donate 30 wheelchairs to needy users, the annual campaign has grown year by year.

In 2019, a record donation of 180 wheelchairs was made, taking APD’s target to past the 1 000-mark, while a total of R2.8 million has been raised in that time to assist with job creation at the organisation in North End.

Even more importantly, APD executive director, Brian Bezuidenhout, said they were starting to impact on the younger generation.

“One of the big highlights was that more schools became involved this year. We had Collegiate last year and this time they were joined by Grey High, Lawson Brown and Pearson.

“We will have 10 schools participating next year and we want our future leaders to be aware of what the needs are out there,” Bezuidenhout said.

Bezuidenhout also paid tribute to the businesses which gave up their time to support the campaign.

“We had 41 companies this year and 182 participants. We are grateful to every one of you for being part of the campaign. You are the reason this campaign works,” he said.

SPAR Eastern Cape sponsorships and events manager, Alan Stapleton, said it was very special for the company to be part of the initiative.

Stapleton added, “It’s an absolutely amazing achievement to reach 1 000 wheelchairs in eight years and part of our ethos is to help others to be more and to do more.”

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