16 November 2013 at 10:32
Wings Wishes and the Wildlands Conservation Trust in partnership with Qhubeka were the big winners at the glittering Gary Player Invitational (GPI) gala auction which took place at The Palace of the Lost City last night (Friday 15 November) and raised over R 4 million.
The GPI, Africa’s leading charity tournament, is presented by Coca-Cola and takes place at the Lost City Golf Course today and tomorrow (November 16-17), featuring celebrities teamed with professional golfers and leading business executives.
The black-tie event, which is the tournament’s largest fundraiser, saw golf stars Gary Player, Retief Goosen, Tony Johnstone and Cheyenne Woods rubbing shoulders with Law Order star Anthony Anderson and CSI New York’s Carmine Giovinazzo, Westlife’s Brian McFadden and his glamorous wife Vogue, as well as South Africa’s first couple of radio Unathi and Thomas Msengana.
As always the most sought after item at the auction was the all-expenses paid, week-long trip to The Masters including staying in The Player Group House as a personal guest of Gary Player and Black Knight International. The item went for R350 000 purchased by Grant Horsfield, Chairman of Naked Resorts in China.
All funds raised will be distributed to Wings Wishes and the Wildlands Conservation Trust in partnership with Qhubeka.
Wings Wishes was established by staff at the Coca-Cola Sabco bottling plant in Port Elizabeth in 2006 to transport critically ill children to specialised government hospitals around South Africa. “We will do 2 000 plane trips this year in order to transport needy children to hospitals for life saving surgery. The funds raised during the GPI will help us continue to grow that number in 2014,” said Doug Jackson, the CEO of Coca-Cola Sabco bottling plants across Africa and Asia.
The Wildlands Conservation Trust in partnership with Qhubeka uplifts local communities by establishing “green jobs” for the poor and unemployed, focusing on recycling and encouraging the growing of indigenous trees through community-based ‘Waste-preneurs’ and ‘Tree-preneurs’. Wildlands operates in 60 communities, growing over 1 200 000 trees and collecting over 6 million kilogrammes of recyclable waste annually. The waste and trees are bartered for items such as bicycles, building materials, school fees and food.
“Since February 2013, 911 Waste-preneurs have started collecting PET (plastic) and have collected over 40 000 kg – the equivalent of 1 200 000 PET bottles. This staggering achievement is real testimony to the impact of this wonderful project, made possible by the GPI and Coca-Cola,” said Wildlands CEO Dr Andrew Venter.
Wildlands sources the bicycles for its Waste-preneur and Tree-preneur programmes from Qhubeka, World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa which has distributed more than 40 000 bikes across the country, 26 000 of them to schools.
The Player Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has raised over R500 million for charities across the globe through the GPI, an annual series played across four continents and featuring top professional golfers, celebrities and business leaders.
Article source: http://www.jacarandafm.com/post/gpi-raises-over-r4-milion/