Walmer to go pink

Octayvia Nance

PORT Elizabeth breast cancer survivors, their friends and families are preparing to wrap trees in Walmer with pink fabric to create awareness and raise funds for the disease.

Businesses are encouraged to sponsor atleast 1m of pink fabric that will be supplied to shops Gently Worn and Annique Health and Beauty.

The fabric will then be sold at a minimum of R20 per metre to raise funds.

Carol van Jaarsveld launched the project – Pink Trees for Pauline – in Graaff-Reinet last year. She lost her mother and grandmother, both named Pauline, to cancer.

“The idea is to, overnight, create a ‘pink’ town that will focus attention on cancer in October as it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Because it won’t be realistic to aim for the whole town of Port Elizabeth to be covered in pink trees, we’re only aiming for Walmer,” Van Jaarsveld said.

She said the colour symbolised new life.

“In the honour of my mother and grandmother a project was birthed to share love and hope around the globe. New life was visible in Graaff-Reinet as a multitude of trees were covered in pink fabric last year. My community worked together as one.

“New life can be extended to other towns and countries, for each one of us knows a Pauline.”

City Parks in Johannesburg has given permission for all its suburbs to participate in the project. The enthusiasm has spread over the borders of South Africa with more than 40 cities on board. Towns in Namibia, Canada and Ireland are already participating.

“As much as R10000 was paid for 1m of fabric [in Graaff-Reinet last year]. Members of the public are urged to take the initiative in what they sponsor. Twenty per cent of funds are used for administration, another 20% will go to Cancervive and the remaining 60% of the funds will be used for cancer awareness in the towns in which they were raised.

“The money will be used for addressing needs like wheelchairs, wigs and prostheses, transport of cancer patients, home nursing, feeding schemes and accommodation during treatments,” Van Jaarsveld said.

“We are hoping this will create interest worldwide. Last year R210000 was raised for cancer. Four thousand metres of fabric were sponsored.

“Kwêla presenter Coenie de Villiers, Algoa FM’s Ed Lunnon, singer Elvis Blue, swimmer Cameron van der Burgh and Graaff-Reinet mayor Hannah Makoba all showed their support by wrapping trees.”

ý For more information, contact Port Elizabeth Pink Trees ambassador Cisca van der Walt on 082-693-5819.

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