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Hermanus Times
Over R225k crowdfunded in 24 hours for Greyton Farm

On the 17 December 2019, a devastating wildfire destroyed Lismore Winefarm in Greyton, Western Cape  - the home and livelihood of well-known pioneering farmer and winemaker, Samantha O'Keefe (48) and her two children, Quinn (14) and Keenan (16).

The fire which started in the nearby nature reserve and initially posed no threat to Lismore is believed to have been started by children with malicious intent according to Overberg fire chief, Reinard Geldenhuys.

Unexpectedly the fire moved over to the vineyard and in no less than 30 minutes, the blaze had destroyed Sam’s homestead, cellar and everything she had built over the last 17 years.

Greyton fire, South Africa. Photo: Twitter/ Johann Van Tonder

In an act of bravery, Sam drove into the blaze, hoping to rescue her farmworkers and animals. Unfortunately, two cats and one dog didn’t survive the fires but fortunately all staff members made it to safety.

Friends and family have travelled far and wide to count the losses and console the O’Keefe family during this difficult time. 

To help Sam cover some of her immediate financial commitments and support her in the rebuilding of Lismore Winefarm, re-planting the vineyards, re-building the family home and winemaking facilities, a crowdfunding campaign has launched on BackaBuddy.

The campaign went live on the 18 December 2019, and in less than 24 hours, over R224 000 has been raised towards the fundraising target of R500 000 with contributions from 130 donors both locally and abroad.

While Sam is distraught by the tragedy, she remains hopeful that Lismore will be returned to its former glory. The family are humbled and overwhelmed by the generous support they have received from the Greyton community, previous patrons, as well as friends and strangers from South Africa and all over the world.

Samantha O’Keefe recently became the sixth woman to be inducted into the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild.

“After countless setbacks and immense challenges this wonderful woman has overcome. Sam even recently became the sixth woman to be inducted into the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild. She has given her past and her future to build her dream”  - says friend and campaign creator, Floh Thiele. 

 

Pictured above: Samantha O’KeefeCredit: Courtesy of Lismore Estate Vineyards

 

To make a donation to help rebuild Lismore, visit BackaBuddy:

https://www.backabuddy.co.za/lismore

 

“Let's hold hands and unite to help Sam rebuild her home, her farm, her life and everything else, which brought so much joy to enthusiastic fans of her magnificent wines. We appeal to anyone who has ever come in contact with this incredibly courageous and inspiring woman to reach out!” says Floh.

 

Messages of support pour in for Sam and her family:

  • "Our thoughts are with you and the boys, we are sure you will recover from the set back" - The Kings
  • "Stay strong Sam, we know you'll be back before long." - Darren Brogden
  • "I really hope it helps! Good luck with everything. " - Jim Gore - Global Wine Academy
  • "Hi Samantha, we have only met once but admire the person you have become. Our thoughts and prayers are with you." - Anonymous
  • "A devastating loss, Sam, but know you have a huge community out there supporting you in rising up again " - Nicola
  • "Sam and the boys. Some of the best times I’ve had in South Africa have been at your place. Sending you love and strength. " - Tim Atkin
  • Dear Samantha, are there words to express what happened. So sorry for your loss. Hope you find strength to get on your feet again soon and find spirit to make great wines again. " - Lisette Goeree
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