Businesses urged “to do more” at Cape Town charity event

By Janice Roberts
Mr Gavin Smith and Mr and Mrs Mmusi Maimane

Mr Gavin Smith and Mr and Mrs Mmusi Maimane

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has urged the Cape Town business community to follow the example of deVere Acuma “to do more” to help charity at an event attended by Democratic Alliance Leader Mmusi Maimane, Minister Alan Winde, The FW de Klerk Foundation and other dignitaries.

In a video address at the deVere Acuma-sponsored Iris House Ball, one of South Africa’s most glamorous charity events that took place at the weekend, the Premier said: “I would like to particularly thank deVere Acuma, the longest-standing and most-recognised international wealth management company in South Africa, for once again supporting the annual Iris House Children’s Hospice Ball.”

She added: “Your [deVere Acuma’s] dedication to Iris House Children’s Hospice is to be applauded and I hope your example inspires other leading companies within the Cape’s business community to do more.”

Always one of the most highly anticipated social events on the South African calendar, the Ball is the major fundraiser for Iris House, a charity committed to enriching the quality of life for special needs children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and providing support for their families.

This year’s Great Gatsby-themed event, MC’d by Danilo Acquisto from Afternoon Express and which took place at the Table Bay Hotel, was the most lavish to date.

Against the Roaring Twenties backdrop, more than 160 guests enjoyed the finest food, champagne, auctions and entertainment, including a set by Cape Town hit-maker Jimmy Nevis.

deVere Group representative, Gavin Smith, comments: “Being part of a global organisation, it is unsurprising that as a Group we are often approached to support international ‘mega’ charities, and it would to many make great sense to do so given our worldwide reach. However, deVere thinks differently. Whilst we may have a truly global presence, wherever we are in the world, we are local. Our client relationships are one to one and consequently we have a one to one relationship with the communities that we serve.

“And that’s why deVere is proud to sponsor Iris House Children’s Hospice here in Cape Town and all of the outstanding work that it does to enrich the lives of special needs children, young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families.”

For her part, Sue Van der Linde, founder of the hospice, says: “The Ball is the highlight of our fundraising calendar and for the second year in a row we have the financial support of deVere Acuma who have sponsored the evening’s expenses. This means that every cent raised this evening will go to Iris House. Thank you deVere Acuma for partnering with us to make this special occasion our most profitable fundraising event of the year.”

Of the charity itself she adds: “2016 has been another remarkable year for Iris House Children’s Hospice. We have again made several improvements to our hospice building and have continued to grow both the number of children and families we support, plus extend the reach of our community-based respite care – with growth into areas such as Khayelitsha, Cross Roads, Mitchells Plein and Kuilsriver. We are now poised to begin our overnight care, with the Department of Health agreeing our license to do so.”

More than R220,000 was raised on the night, with the promise of more support to follow for the three projects presented by Sue Van der Linde, namely: the purchase of a new ‘bakkie’; the building of an occupational therapy room; and the building of a parents’ sanctuary.

On top of this, many new friends and connections were made, including Mmusi Maimane, who has expressed great interest in visiting the hospice soon with his wife Natalie.

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