Turning wheels to raise money

Back: Lionel Pamensky, Brenden Falk, Alon Sachs, Mark Isserow, Maon Saxe, Aubrey Miller, Stuart Hendler, Darren Levy, Saul Gorin, Graham Rosendorff, Selwyn Shandel, David Cohen, Eitan Durbach and Matteo Coscia. Front: Tevin Hirshowitz, Raoul Miller, John O’Connor, Dana Gordon-Davis, Joel Gamsu, Mike Wohlman and Lynton Cassel. Missing from pic: Gary Palmer, Allen Jaffe and Saar Ben Tovim.

What can be better than raising funds for a very worthwhile cause while doing what you really enjoy?  

A group of keen cyclists recently had the opportunity to test this out when they participated in a two-day road cycle tour through some of the most beautiful parts of the Western Cape — and raised over R200 000 in the process.

Cape Town’s Community Security Organisation (CSO), which provides security and emergency medical services to members of our community, was the beneficiary of this fund-raising initiative. According to CSO’s Head of Fundraising and Marketing, Dani Janks, “This venture was the brainchild of a few cyclists who had previously taken part in the Hatzolah Cape Invasion Tour. They were keen to do something similar, and to benefit CSO in the process. So, they suggested the idea to us,  and we were thrilled to accept the offer despite knowing that we would be under pressure to finalise the arrangements within the timeframe.”

The group set a goal of securing at least 20 keen cyclists to ride the two routes identified within a two-day time period. “It was great to see the interest in this cycle tour from members of the local cycling community,” Janks says, commenting that 24 cyclists eventually signed up. 

The tour took place on 21 and 22 May, with routes going from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek, Wellington to Tulbagh, and along Bainskloof Pass and back to Wellington. The cyclists covered about 100km per day on these magnificent routes. While the weather on Day 1 proved to be a challenge, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the riders.

The final stop was in the scenic Val Du Charon Estate in Wellington, where all 24 cyclists met for a closing lunch and the awarding of certificates and medals.

The youngest cyclist in the group, Cape Town Torah High Grade 10 learner, Matteo Coscia, 16, enjoyed the camaraderie among his fellow cyclists. “We didn’t leave any other cyclists behind, and we would wait if someone was fixing a puncture or needed help,” he explains. “And we had a great route leader in John O’Connor, the owner of John O’Connor Premium Cycling Store in Mouille Point.”

The CSO team is extremely grateful to the cyclists for taking the initiative on this — and to their family members and friends who made donations via GivenGain crowdfunding pages. “Our sincere thanks too, to the companies who assisted with sponsorship — The DisChem Foundation, Vida e Caffé, Top N Nos, 32Gi, Revive, and Alligator,” Dani comments.

With the first-ever CSO Cycle Tour now over, CSO has every intention to make this an annual fundraising — and enjoyable — event. They look forward to the next one, which they are aiming to make bigger and better. 

So, if you’d like to join in next year and enjoy the beauty of the Western Cape while doing good, get your bicycle ready and start training!

EMERGENCY — NUMBER: 086 18 911 18www.csocape.org.za

• Published in the July 2023 issue – Click here to start reading.

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