Also published here.
Established in February 2010, the Virtual Honorary Rangers (VHRs) operate on the SANParks online forums, implementing and driving projects that contribute to SANParks through fundraising and support of Environmental Education programmes. Please note that forum fundraising events such as the one described below, are all done within the framework and facilitation of the VHRs. The account below is of a forum member (who wishes to stay anonymous) and the wonderful fundraising event they hosted on their farm in aid of the War against Poaching.
"It all started when the story on the forums about Val's (forum member) successful fundraiser caught my eye.
It sounded like so much fun! Getting together, having a lovely time and in the process, raising funds for the War against Poaching. They inspired me and I discussed the idea of getting involved with the conservation of our rhinos with my significant other.
He immediately, very enthusiastically, consented and our whole family got involved. We decided on a date and started planning. I want to share this story with you with so much gratefulness for all the goodwill and support that we experienced.
Matthys (SANParks forums moderator) helped us with following the right procedures and obtaining permission from the SANParks Honorary Rangers, Virtual Region, for the function that we were planning. Without her I might have thrown in the towel.
It is with pleasure that I share the positive reaction that we experienced:
* Jurgens Schoeman of Live The Journey immediately consented to be our co-host for the evening.
* Dave Pepler immediately consented to fit us into his very busy programme and to be our speaker for the evening.
* We approached Magriet (WILD magazine) and she gave us a hundred old copies of the magazine for distributing amongst our guests.
* Pacmar, a local fruit juice factory, donated delicious WILD juice.
* La Vie De Luc Mineral Water donated bottled water for our guests.
* Rian en Elize Heyes printed us the cutest place mats at cost price.
* Retha, an expert caterer, took me through the steps of successful catering for 150 guests.
The function also included an auction:
* Andy Watts, master whisky distiller, donated world class Bains Whiskey.
* Razvan Macici, Nederburg cellar master, offered us selected word class wines.
* Danie Marais, cellar master at Windmeul, was the auctioneer en also donated selected wines.
* Kobus, Danie and Anton also donated wines from their private wine collections.
* A helicopter flight and one in a Cessna 172 were auctioned.
* Mariette, a friend of mine, did a rhino painting especially for the auction.
Part of the fun of the evening was the music from the 60's and 70's! Jacques spent weeks on getting and collecting the right music for us. Must have been a learning curve for such a youngster! Another friend, Charl, loaned us an excellent sound system. He also provided us with pincushion proteas, from his mountain garden, for the tables. Helena, when hearing that the function was a fundraiser for the rhinos, gave us a huge discount on the delicious bread for the evening.
And then the 16th of November dawned...
Friends and family prepared salads, Daan and Phil roasted four whole lambs on the spit and when this was neatly cut up we were ready.
Soft rain did not dampen the festive spirit and we all thoroughly enjoyed the festivities. Dave gave an insightful talk and the auction was done in a very witty and humorous way. We were then treated to dinner, followed by koeksisters and coffee.
We are very grateful and excited to be handing over the wonderful amount of R 34 400.00 to the SANParks War against Poaching campaign.
Thank you to each and every one of you that helped to make this evening such a huge success.
Standing and working together, we can truly make a difference!"