The plight of South Africa’s rhinos received much deserved attention at a black tie fundraising dinner hosted at The Boardwalk on Thursday, 29 October 2015. The event, which also served to launch local businessman Wayne Bolton’s ambitious One Land Love It campaign, saw over 230 people attending, including Mr South Africa and Mr PE.
The Boardwalk was the venue sponsor for the fundraising dinner and all proceeds raised through ticket sales and the spirited auction will be donated to two deserving rhino conservation organizations. One of them is Care for Wild Africa, a rhino orphanage that does amazing work in rehabilitating rhino calves that are brought to them when the mothers are killed by poachers. The other beneficiary is the SANParks Honorary Rangers who support SANParks and the Rangers who work on the frontlines against rhino poachers and need resources and support in order to carry out their anti-poaching operations.
Under expert hands the venue was transformed to create an atmosphere that was both glittering and impressive while still pointing to the real purpose of the evening. Here Henriette Engelbrecht of SANParks wove her magic including SANParks Addo Elephant National Park‘s life-size rhino models which graced the room with their splendid presence. Side by side with the SANParks banners were those of many sponsors. The profusion of colour lining the walls spoke volumes about the collaboration of so many, from main sponsors to the many who donated amazing items for auctioning and lucky draw prizes.
Beautiful jewellery from Jenni Gault International Jewellery Design, handmade knives by Deon Nel, scenic flights from Madiba Bay School of flight, Nixon and Obaku watches, spa vouchers, hair and beauty spoils, Wedgewood hampers and canvas prints and so much more were available for auctioning and prizes. Through the auctioning of these amazing items, including weekends given through the generous support of many in the hospitality industry, ranging from accommodation in Hogsback to waterfront cruises and winelands tram rides in Cape Town, money was raised which will go directly to the beneficiaries.
The Boardwalk team excelled, treating guests to fine dining in beautiful surroundings, with Ashley Dowds as the eloquent MC and Claire Venn entertaining everyone and singing the memorable theme song which she wrote for One Land Love It. The 2 Sisters Auctioneers did a brilliant job of entertaining the guests and raising funds through their skilled auctioneering and the fantastic guest speakers outdid themselves adding substance to the cause and inspiring all present.
Motivational speakers during the evening included Braam Malherbe, the acclaimed extreme adventurer, motivational speaker, conservationist and philanthropist, and Vasti Geldenhuys, an acclaimed adventurer who rowed from Africa to the US with her boyfriend, Riaan Manser.
“The collaboration between the Bolton family and the sponsors and volunteers who made this evening possible is heartening. The Boardwalk is proud to be associated with this extremely worthwhile cause and we would like to thank everyone involved, as well as the hundreds of people who joined us on the evening and made contributions. We wish Wayne Bolton strength and determination during his expedition and encourage our community to follow his progress,” says The Boardwalk’s General Manager, Brett Hoppé.
Nikki Bolton, Wayne’s wife, said: “Seeing such a tremendous turnout and having such inspiring guest speakers at the dinner was both an honour and an association One Land Love It is proud to share as Wayne follows the inspiring example of ordinary folk who have stepped out of their comfort zones. These folk have taken on challenges that appear daunting at times but speak volumes about their determination to do more than their best and to make a difference. One Land Love It involves an ordinary family who are trying to follow this example but encouraging the collaboration of others as they take a bold step saying, ‘we have One Land (let’s) Love It!'”
“We are immensely grateful for the support we have received from our sponsors and the community. The proceeds from the event will be donated to our beneficiaries following an audit.”
Bolton will commence his 80 day, epic 6000km mountain bike cycle to all 19 National Parks in South Africa starting from the Pafuri Gate on the 28 November 2015. He will symbolically launch the expedition from the Ranger Memorial in Kruger with the support of Kruger’s Managing Executive Glenn Phillips, SANParks Commanding Officer Ranger Services, Major General (ret) Johan Jooste, brought in to oversee the overall anti-poaching operations in Kruger National Park; SANParks Rangers and their dogs and representatives of Care for Wild Africa. The expedition will end in Nelson Mandela Bay at SANParks Addo Elephant National Park in February 2016.
Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II has shown her support of the expedition, writing in a letter to Bolton: “I would like to wish the One Land Love It expedition team the very best of luck during their noble endeavors to highlight the plight of wildlife not only in South Africa but around the entire continent. The Commonwealth has always placed the natural heritage of its wildlife as vitally important to the progression of humankind and I applaud you and your time in your efforts.”