PE Express

Prisoners’ ‘jail time’ raises thousands for charity

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The prisoners were wined and dined for their efforts in making this a fun fund-raising initiative for charity. INSET:Prisoners appeared before ‘honourable judge,’ Rihanda Strydom.  Photos:supplied
The prisoners were wined and dined for their efforts in making this a fun fund-raising initiative for charity. INSET:Prisoners appeared before ‘honourable judge,’ Rihanda Strydom. Photos:supplied

GOING to jail should be a traumatic experience for all and even just thinking about it should send you into a state of panic, but for seven people from Nelson Mandela Bay, spending half a day in “jail” was an amazing experience, especially considering the fact that they helped raise almost R50 000 for charity.

The prisoners, Marinus Rautenbach, Bhavesh Tiekam, Rihanda Strydom, Shaun Vermaak, Cornel Strydom, Heinrich Muller, and Selwyn Willis, recently participated in “Jail or Bail,” a fund-raising initiative by the Round Table Club PE West 142 standard for the Community Chest.

Strydom, public relations officer for the club, said that the idea for Jail or Bail was derived from a Round Table club in the Northern Cape, that has been successfully running this project over the past few years.

The club in Nelson Mandela Bay thus thought that it would be a great initiative for the metro and to adapt it to PE West 142 standard.

“We approached companies and individuals in Nelson Mandela Bay to nominate their colleagues and friends. This did not require any effort or expense from the company, barring an afternoon off work for the great cause.

“Participants were then notified of their nomination and upon acceptance, we sent them the details of what is expected from them.

“They then provided us with their respective ‘arrest addresses’, mostly at work, where TacNet Security Services would go and arrest them and transport them to our ‘jail,’ generously donated by Hyman Master Fence, situated at our clubhouse,” Strydom explained. She added that each participant received a pledge form and then phoned their contacts to submit pledges.

They received pledges from as little as R5 to one of R5 000.

Upon arrival at our clubhouse, the prisoners were to appear in front of an “honourable judge,” Rihanda Strydom, and sentenced for their devious crimes in the name of charity.

“Each jailer had to oppose bail of R5 000. Whilst in jail, the prisoners were wined and dined in appreciation for their efforts. Our club chairperson, Pienaar Allers, was the acting sheriff on duty and ensured that all prisoners behaved accordingly.”

Strydom mentioned that they initially planned to have 10 prisoners, but due to some last-minute cancellations, ended up with seven instead, with a projected project gross income of R35 000.

“Selwyn Willis also represented our beneficiary of the project, Community Chest, as a prisoner. Our participants absolutely outdid themselves and exceeded all our expectations, raising in excess of R60 000 in pledges.

After we deducted our expenses for the project, we were able to donate a whopping R45 000 to Community Chest,” she said.

Strydom thanked all the participants for their efforts in making this project a massive success for the beneficiary, as well as all tablers and sponsors.

“We look forward to making it even bigger and more profitable in 2022, so people should be on the lookout for registrations opening in the third quarter of this year.”

For more information, follow the Round Table PE West 142 Facebook page. Alternatively, an email can be sent to secretary@rt142.co.za.

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