Several CEOs and Directors at many large corporations with operations in the Bay on Thursday night exchanged their warm beds for a night on the pavement outside Wimpy at the Boardwalk Complex, in an effort to raise funds for charity.
Marketing Managers at Mohair SA, (from left to right) Lindsey Humphreys and Anlé Marais
Dubbed the ‘CEO SleepOut’ campaign, the Port Elizabeth event was part of several similar ‘sleepouts’ held across the country.
Founded in Australia in 2006, the campaign aims to challenge business leaders to help raise funds for the less fortunate and the homeless.
The businessmen and women brought with them blankets and goods for the two charities that the Port Elizabeth CEO SleepOut is collecting funds for – the Healing Minds Community Centre and the Khayalethu Boys Centre.
Speaking to RNews, Brett Hoppe, General Manager at The Boardwalk, said he was very pleased at the turnout.
“I’m actually quite pleased, its 19 degrees, it’s actually quite warm, which is pretty cool so we’re quite excited. It looks good, the first few people are starting to arrive, they get a box and a blanket when they enter, so you kind of collect your box as you enter,” he said.
From left to right: Managing Director at PWC, Andrea Puggia and The Boardwalk GM Brette Hoppe
While there was a concern that it might rain, Hoppe said that they would still keep the event going, and that ponchos would be provided for the guests if it did rain.
Just like the homeless, on our streets, upon arrival, the businessmen grabbed pieces of cardboard boxes, old newspapers as well as blankets and picked an area where they sleep out the night.
Soups and drinks were provided for all the participants while a fire pit was put in place to keep them warm as well.
Among the several corporate bigwigs were the CEOs of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Chantal Du Pisani, and Uitenhage Despatch Daily Initiative (UDDI), Patricia Dlamini. Dlamini was also a finalist at the 2016 Social Entrepreneurship Award of the Year.
From left to right: CEO’s Patricia Dlamini and Chantal Du Pisani
“Obviously we are very excited, it’s my first time ever camping, but I think it’s for a good cause so it may be worth the discomfort for one night,” said Du Pisani.
Dlamini said that; “I think it’s for a good cause, one night away from our comforts, couldn’t be much to ask for, it’s also my first time doing the SleepOut.”
Mr Port Elizabeth 2016, Nicholas Affat, was also a part of the SleepOut and expressed his enthusiasm for doing something like this for a good cause.
“The best part about this whole campaign is that it’s been awesome exposure, I would have never have gotten to do this other than as a guest otherwise,” he said.
Mr PE 2016, Nicholas Affat