Cyclists raise R380 000 for hospice
The recent 947 Momentum Cycle Challenge proved hugely successful, not only for the organizers of the race, but most certainly for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park in Alberton.
A whopping R380 000 was raised for the hospice by a group of 44 cyclists “riding for a purpose” in this annual cycling event. The Mountain Bike Race was held on Sunday November 9, 2014 and the Road Race, attracting over 40 000 cyclists, on Sunday November 16, 2014.
“We are speechless,” says Stepping Stone CEO, Tersia Burger. Every year, the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge gives participants the opportunity to create awareness about causes that are close to their hearts. “What transpired here with a team as determined as the hospice team, has truly left us humbled, not just by the generosity of the public and corporates, but also the human spirit on display,” says Tersia.
Thousands of cyclists gathered at Riversands in Fourways on Sunday to take on the new route, described by many a participant as extremely challenging. Standing out from the crowd was the hospice team, proudly wearing their cycling kit sponsored by Absa Bank. Absa came on board as the main sponsor for the hospice team and 22 of the 44 team members were Absa employees.
Inspired by the fact that Barclays further undertook to match fund all funds raised by the Absa cyclists on the team, it was “gloves off”. Not only did they all finish the race, but ensured through their fundraising effort that much needed extensions to the existing in-patient unit at the hospice premises in New Market Park can now proceed.
The idea of entering a hospice team in the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge started with Alberton resident, Annelize Enders (39) who also set herself personal goals through this effort. “I was determined, not only to raise the funds, but also to participate in this race,” she says. Annelize embarked on a strict training programme, lost 35kilograms and did what no-one thought she would be able to do – arrive at the starting point on Sunday determined to finish what she started.
Co-founder of Stepping Stone and treasurer, Rina Davies from Alberante, was part of the hospice team and completed the race in just over 5 hours. “Amazing experience,” she says. “Tough as nails, but absolutely well worth it. I was so proud to wear the Absa and Stepping Stone cycling outfit and I am positive that this will now become an annual fundraiser for us and we will be able to grow from strength to strength,” Rina concluded.
Four of the Hospice’s 44 cyclists, Geoff Lee, Michelle Smith, Eshmael Mpabanga and Don Smith getting ready for the 947 Cycle Challenge.