Mas­ks o­ver smi­les for foun­da­ti­on

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News | Nuus - Sup­p­lied by T­he­re­se Hans­son

The inau­gu­ral S­mi­le Foun­da­ti­on Masque­ra­de C­ha­ri­ty Ball, which took pla­ce last wee­kend, rai­sed mo­re than

R80 000 in aid of this South A­fri­can non­pro­fit kids’ c­ha­ri­ty or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on that helps needy child­ren with fa­ci­al ab­nor­ma­li­ties.

Foun­ded by Nel­son Man­de­la, the S­mi­le Foun­da­ti­on works to pro­vi­de sur­ge­ry for child­ren born with fa­ci­al a­no­ma­lies, such as cleft lip and pa­la­te, and moe­bi­us syn­dro­me.

The gla­mo­rous e­vent on Sa­tur­day 8 Sep­tem­ber at Pe­zu­la Golf Club drew 75 gue­sts a­dor­ned with mas­ks and for­mal at­ti­re. Alt­hough gue­sts we­re dazz­led by beau­ti­ful de­cor, de­li­ci­ous food and qua­li­ty li­ve per­for­man­ces, cre­a­ting a­wa­re­ness and rai­sing mo­ney for child­ren in need of re­con­structi­ve fa­ci­al sur­ge­ry was the pri­ma­ry fo­cus of the e­ve­ning.

Ta­nya Jack­son from the S­mi­le Foun­da­ti­on in Port E­li­za­beth shared in her speech that it is an i­co­nic ti­me to ce­le­bra­te and ho­nour a foun­da­ti­on that was star­ted by Ma­di­ba, who would ha­ve ce­le­bra­ted his 100th birt­hday this y­e­ar. “The he­art­felt sto­ry of how a let­ter from an eig­ht-y­e­a­rold gi­rl in need of sur­ge­ry stir­red the he­art of the pre­si­dent of South A­fri­ca has chan­ged the li­ves of 2 500 child­ren. We are pas­si­o­na­te a­bout con­tinuing Ma­di­ba’s le­ga­cy through the work of the S­mi­le Foun­da­ti­on, and we are so gra­te­ful to the Knys­na com­mu­ni­ty for their ef­forts.”

Or­ga­ni­sers of the e­vent, Mar­tin and T­he­re­se Hans­son, al­ong with Ry­an and Bi­an­ca Ha­bib, are o­ver­joy­ed with the sup­port from the com­mu­ni­ty: “As pa­rents of child­ren born with cleft pa­la­tes, this cau­se is very c­lo­se to our he­arts. We or­ga­ni­sed this e­vent to rai­se mo­ney for child­ren in our sur­roun­ding a­re­as to ha­ve sur­ge­ry wit­hout ha­ving to tra­vel to lar­ger ci­ties. We are bo­w­led o­ver by our com­mu­ni­ty and so gra­te­ful to e­ver­yo­ne who con­tri­bu­ted!”

The mo­ney rai­sed through en­tran­ce tic­kets, raf­fles and a si­lent aucti­on on the nig­ht, will be e­nough to pay for al­most six re­con­structi­ve sur­ge­ries.

Says T­he­re­se Hans­son, “This fun­drai­sing ef­fort would not ha­ve been pos­si­ble wit­hout the in­cre­di­bly ge­ne­rous do­na­ti­ons from lo­cal bu­si­nes­ses. We had hund­reds of pri­zes to raf­fle and aucti­on. We can­not thank our long list of spon­sors e­nough.”

Find out mo­re

Fol­lo­wing the o­ver­w­hel­ming success of the first e­vent, or­ga­ni­sers plan to host a c­ha­ri­ty ball as an an­nu­al fun­drai­ser for the Gar­den Rou­te.

For mo­re in­for­ma­ti­on or to sup­port the S­mi­le Foun­da­ti­on, vi­sit www. smi­le­foun­da­ti­on­sa.org

La­ni Gro­ves put on a fan­tas­tic per­for­man­ce. O­li­ver Hans­son (left, born with a cleft lip and pa­la­te), No­ah Ha­bib, Nel­lie Hans­son and Mi­ka Ha­bib (al­so born with a cleft pa­la­te) are in­ter­vie­wed by Keith Buhr re­gar­ding their jour­neys first­hand.

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