Cycling, Smiling and Battling this Pandemic – Together

Sasfin joined forces with the Smile Foundation to host a virtual cyclethon and raise funds for much needed PPE equipment to protect workers on the frontline.

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On 27 April, right in the middle of South Africa’s Level 4 lockdown, Sasfin joined forces with the Smile Foundation to host a virtual cyclethon and raise funds for much needed PPE equipment to protect workers on the frontline.

These are hard times for so many, and as normal citizens sitting at home over this time, it can feel like we’re simply not doing enough to help. After all, if we’re not doctors or essential workers, contributing to the fight against this pandemic can be quite challenging. That’s why being part of the cyclethon this year made so much sense to these Sasfin employees.

“The Smile Foundation does such wonderful work, so I was motivated to join in. Plus, I really needed the exercise!” commented Charissa de Jager – Sasfin’s Company Secretary. She cycled on a spinning bike at home and raised money by donating personally, as well as raising awareness among her family and friends.

Johan Gouws, Head of Advice for Sasfin Wealth, agreed that it was a great way to connect with other Sasfin employees during lockdown and also to be part of a really worthwhile cause: “I did rope skipping for an hour and felt the vibe overall was really great.”

Nearly 100 people participated in the cyclethon and R120 000 was raised, which was used to buy 4300 masks to donate to the COVID-19 frontline. Some of these are cutting-edge imported masks with 'germ trap' technology to provide top protection to medical workers at seven national hospitals. Medical gloves, scrubs, infrared thermometer guns and sanitisers were also purchased.

Marzanne Raubenheimer is Programme Manager at Sasfin and she did a one-hour cycle on her static bike at home, managing to clock a total of 34km. “The presenters were all pumped up and excited, and together with the great music and the reason behind why we were doing this, it was easy to feel motivated and keep going”.

And it wasn’t just about the cycling and skipping. Elisheva Gilbert – Head of Group Marketing and Communications – ran in her driveaway, as so many of us had to do when we were not permitted to leave our homes for exercise. “It was so much fun! The instructors were super energised and engaged, the music was great, and watching all of the other participants was incredibly inspiring.”

Sasfin is passionate about contributing to society and what better way to try and help society during a pandemic than to support those people and institutions who really need protection as they battle this virus? “We’ve partnered with the Smile Foundation for over 15 years, and it’s always a pleasure and privilege to support them. This event in particular was important given the Coronavirus, as all proceeds raised were directed to PPE and SA hospitals,” says Elisheva.

Being part of this cyclethon has showed us that while we may feel helpless as individuals, we can make a difference if we all pull together. Whether you cycled, skipped, jogged or donated, Sasfin employees showed up, showed their hearts and did their part.

Smile Foundation Campaign Manager Chloe Torr was incredibly grateful for the support, saying “Thank you again for making this event possible. It really has raised the bar for all virtual events during lockdown.”

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About the Author
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Terri Katz

CSR Manager, Sasfin

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