GEORGE NEWS - A group of six local animal lovers went above and beyond for animals in need when they raised more than R100 000 for the Garden Route SPCA (GRSPCA) on Sunday morning, 30 August. JC Visser, Michael John Pietersen, Juan Oosthuizen, Craig Shillaw, Mauritz Jansen van Rensburg and Tim Toovey "Everested", cycling up and down the Outeniqua Pass 37 times.
According to Anél Oosthuizen, who assisted with the fundraiser's social media and marketing, the concept of Everesting is simple.
"You pick any hill, anywhere in the world and complete repeats of it in a single activity until you have climbed 8 848m. Complete the challenge on a bike or on foot and you'll find your name in the hall of fame, alongside the best climbers in the world," she said.
It took the brave young men 17 hours to "climb Everest" and they completed a total distance of more than 300km.
The idea originated with JC Visser, who said animals need as much help as humans during the Covid-19 pandemic. "Animals are very near and dear to our hearts and we felt that someone needs to be the voice for these animals. They can't speak for themselves." He invited some like-minded cyclist friends to join him and raise as much money as they could. These supporters cycled along for parts of the route.
According to Oosthuizen they didn't have a set amount in mind. "We were going to be happy with any amount of money raised. Through the Back-a-Buddy campaign we managed to raise nearly R57 000 and other donations were directly made to the SPCA. It all adds up to more than R100 000, but we don't have a final figure yet," she said.
"We are so grateful to have amazing people like this who believe in us, our cause and the community," said GRSPCA manager Salomé Bruyns.
"We are overwhelmed by the support and thank everyone involved. Thanks again to everyone who participated. We are going to use the funds for sterilisations and for treatments."
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