The coffers of NPO Distance For Difference (D4D) have been bolstered by nearly R100 000, thanks to the efforts of participants in the successful Marathon Around the House (Math) event last Saturday (25 April).
It was the first-ever such event for D4D and followed the virtual running trend now practised worldwide in a bid to keep fit, keep running and aid D4D in continuing its support of various individuals and charities.
The registered section 21 company mobilises runners, cyclists, walkers and swimmers to get sponsorships for every kilometre they complete at events held throughout the year. With the money it raises D4D assists in making the lives of children a little bit easier and gives them a promising future.
Founder Stephan Pieterse explained that the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has changed lives dramatically, in truly unprecedented ways. “It changed the way we work, think and socialise,” he said. “The pandemic will also have a major impact on D4D’s fundraising efforts this year and, subsequently, our ability to continue to financially support our beneficiaries. Our next event, The Gratitude Run, set to take place in October, has been put on hold until further notice.
“D4D would like to make use of the time during lockdown to continue to make a difference in South Africa.”
In doing his bit, Pieterse ran a lockdown marathon (42,2 km) around his house at the weekend, completing a total of 480 88 m-laps throughout the day. But he was not the only runner running for D4D; Colin Marais, a supporter and friend of D4D since its inception in 2005, also participated in the Math event.
“Colin also ran the distance around his house,” Pieterse said. “Together we shared live videos on Facebook so that the community could follow our progress and make a donation for every kilometre completed.”
After the race, Pieterse said the run challenged him on many levels, especially mentally and physically. “The last time I ran a full marathon was in 2010, although I knew I was unprepared,” he said. “I felt the need was so high that I just had to go through that pain to raise the funds.”
Pieterse managed the first 30 km with significant effort, but the last 12 km required sheer mind over matter. “My family really supported me so much and ran the final 20 laps with me. I also wrote down the names of various beneficiaries against a wall, so I was reminded of why I am doing this each time I passed.”
Pieterse thanked all sponsors, supporters, friends, family and neighbours who motivated him and Marias, and who donated to the cause.
“We initially aimed to raise R50 000, so reaching almost double that is really such a blessing,” he said. “In total, we raised R91 022, of which at least 25% will go towards Heartlands Baby Sanctuary. The balance will be distributed among various other beneficiaries.”
Looking ahead, with sports events still a relative long way from being hosted, D4D will continue to be innovative in their thinking in organising similar virtual fundraising events. “Be it similar home marathons or virtual relay events, D4D will continue our work to support all the charities as best we can.”
. For more information or to support on D4D, visit www.d4dsa.co.za, or contact Tacia Roux on 082 415 5595.
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