GENEROUS donors opened their hearts and wallets and donated more than R400000 to this year’s The Herald Christmas Cheer Fund.
The R433514.69 will be distributed among 75 charities that support more than 200000 needy people in Nelson Mandela Bay.
A substantial portion of the funds was raised by 14 dedicated charities that sold tickets for the competition in which participants could win a VW Polo. A total of 26926 tickets were sold this year – an increase of 7149 over last year.
Most of this year’s tickets were sold by Cheshire Homes in Summerstrand, which sold 5260 tickets.
Last year’s donations and ticket sales totalled R281378.95.
Beggar-in-Chief Steven Lancaster said this year’s fundraising had “once again received the loyalty of traditional givers” Alpha Pharm East Cape, with their “cheerful attitude” to taking part in community initiatives like The Herald Christmas Cheer Fund.
Volkswagen Group South Africa, through their donation of the VW Polo 1.4 Trendline – won by Rod Johnson of Port Elizabeth – “once again displayed amazing generosity this year.”
The Algoa Floral and Garden Society annual function and the Hellenic Christmas Charity Tea boosted funds.
Lancaster said the willingness and generosity of new givers Continental Tyre SA and Spec-Savers “have given us even more reason [and funds] to spread cheer”.
The Discovery Wellness Hub used their launch to raise awareness and funds for Christmas Cheer through a silent auction and the Weekend Post Wine and Dine event also brought in funds through the generosity of the auction bidders.
“Each contribution has shown us here at The Herald that our communities, businesses and charities alike are supportive of each other and will assist to ensure that all receive a very cheerful Christmas,” Lancaster said.