Maitland-based Friends Day Centre is spending a staggering R100 000 annually fixing its two ailing buses. As part of its 60th anniversary celebrations they hope to acquire two new sets of wheels and they are pulling all the stops to make this a reality. However, they need public support. On Saturday 5 October the centre will celebrate its anniversary at the Milnerton Golf Club through a gala dinner, A night for the stars, and they hope to raise enough funds to put towards the purchase. Tickets are sold at R400 per person. The fun-filled event will have a photo shoot on a red carpet, entertainment and a three-course meal.Two of the buses are 15-years-old and repairs cost them over R100 000 per year.Centre manager, Johann Opperman says the two buses have become costly. The centre has three buses that transport children from all over the Peninsula to and from the centre on weekdays. He says they hope to be able to raise enough funds to buy the buses within the next two years. This is because the funding they would receive will be split among the responsibilities at the centre, but they are now prioritising saving for the buses. Opperman says one bus will cost them R750 000. The centre offers various interventions, which Opperman says are crucial for the development and wellbeing of a child, especially if received from an early age. These children live with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and epilepsy, and struggle with speech among other things. “Our motto is from cradle to grave. We take children in up to the age of 12-years-old but because you are over 18-years-old, does not mean we have to part our ways,” says Opperman.The centre provides different therapies according to the needs of the individual. These include physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, sensory and speech therapy. All this is made possible through the help of the 45 staff members and volunteers who dedicate time to helping at the centre. All are welcome to volunteer, and on Tuesday 10 September when People’s Post visited the centre, Makel-leigh Herandien and Chante Herandien were there to spend a few hours playing with the children.Makel-leigh says places like these do not always get recognition and support from the public even though a little contribution goes an extra mile to improve a beneficiary’s life. She says if more people could start lending a hand, then society would understand the importance and the impact places like this make in the community. V For more information, phone 021 511 5801.