Raising a pretty penny for princesses

Noli Mini from Blouberg with Bongiwe Madolo from Khayelitsha and Thozama Bavuma from Bellville.

Pennies for Princesses, hosted by Cape Community Newspapers (CCN), which publishes Vukani, raised R88 400 for Dews of Quietness at its sixth annual Women’s Day fundraiser. Pictured from left, are Candice Sinclair, of the Table Bay Hotel, who donated R20 000; Moriedah Dien of Dews of Quietness; Heidi Edson who donated R20 000 on behalf of GrandWest, and CCN editor Chantel Erfort, who handed over a cheque for R48 400 raised through ticket sales. Last year the event raised R80 000 for the Khayelitsha-based Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids (GAPA).

CapeTowner’s annual Pennies for Princesses Women’s Day fundraiser this year raised a whopping R88 400 for Dews of Quietness, a Steenberg-based NPO which works with women and children at risk. CapeTowner is Vukani’s sister paper.

A total of R48 400 was raised through ticket sales, with Sun International’s Table Bay Hotel and GrandWest each donating R20 000.

The Table Bay Hotel has supported this event since the first time it was held there in 2012. The first event, held in 2011, was held at Trinity night club in Green Point.

Tickets for the glittering gathering are sought after and this year was no different. According to Chantel Erfort, editor of the Cape Community Newspapers which publishes Vukani and its 15 sister titles, tickets were sold out within a minute of sales having opened.

Accepting the ceremonial cheque on behalf of this year’s beneficiary, Dews of Quietness, a support group for women and children based in Steenberg, Moriedah Dien said the organisation received no funding from government structures, and depends on fundraising initiatives to sustain their projects and initiatives.

Ms Erfort said she was honoured to be part of the Pennies for Princesses movement which enabled women to contribute to “lifting up our sisters in need”.

“It enables us to contribute to women whose burdens are heavier than ours are and the women who are working tirelessly in their communities to uplift others.

“Every person sitting here today is a valuable part of that movement – and we thank you for that.

“Thank you to the loyal supporters who have been at every event since 2011 and also to those who are joining us for the first time. I would also like to extend a special thank you to the Table Bay Hotel for their generosity and the incredible support they have given this event since 2012.

“When we started Pennies for Princesses in 2011, we had a simple aim: to honour the spirit of National Women’s Day by raising money for an organisation that takes care of young women in need.”

That year the event raised R15 000 for Ons Plek shelter for girls in Woodstock; the following year R30 000 was raised for the Saartjie Baartman Centre for women and children; in 2013 the Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse, received R40 000; in 2014 R70 000 was raised for the Community Intervention Centre, based in Milnerton and last year R80 000 went to Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids, in Khayelitsha.

Before introducing the first speaker of the evening, Ms Erfort added: “After I received a message wishing me happy Women’s Day on Tuesday, I felt the need to respond in a meaningful manner… in a way that truly expressed how I felt about the power of women and the ability we have to make a difference in the lives of others.

“This was my response: Let us celebrate the women who have gone before us, and be the ones who will walk ahead, clearing a path for those who will follow.”

Of the event she later said it began as a “girls’ night out with a conscience”.

“From the start, the aim was to give women an opportunity to let their hair down, while also raising funds for organisations which champion the rights of women and girls in need,” Ms Erfort said.

When asked about their support of the event, the Table Bay Hotel’s Candice Sinclair said: “Understanding the crucial link between wellness and a healthy, productive and well-functioning society, The Table Bay is focused on encouraging and supporting healthy and purpose-driven initiatives.

“The association with Pennies for Princesses brings us closer to our community and focuses on improving quality of life.”

Master of ceremonies for the evening was radio personality Aden Thomas, and guest speakers included film-maker Nadine Cloete who spoke of the importance of mentorship among women, and in particular the woman who inspired her to get involved in the film industry; Adeliah Jacobs who has previously worked for cancer awareness organisations and spoke about how women can support each other through illness; psychoanalyst Dr Karen Kaplan-Solms and Elan Lohmann and Carol Gajana of Sleek Geek. Entertainment was provided by the dancers from Black Orchid Burlesque.