The Stellenbosch University (SU) community came out in full support of the University’s annual Campus Giving Day held recently on the Stellenbosch campus.
Campus Giving Day 2021 formed part of the Annual Fund, Bridge the Gap, that aims to remove the obstacles that are hindering Maties from having a meaningful student experience and obtaining that sought-after degree. The University is raising funds for several initiatives under the umbrella of Bridge the Gap. These include, #Move4Food, the Tygerberg Pantry Project, #Action4Inclusion, #GradMe, #Zim4Zim, End Period Poverty, #MatiesHaveDrive and Caught in the Middle.
The Campus Giving Day activities – spread out over a few days to accommodate social distancing and curfews – included 5-a-side soccer matches and a speed tennis tournament, a megamovie marathon at Pulp Cinema, while residences and Private Student Organisations were asked to decorate the trees on Victoria Street between Dagbreek and Irene.
The Deans of AgriSciences and Engineering, Proffs Danie Brink and Wikus van Niekerk, also got in on action. “Our Deans of AgriSciences and Engineering really set the bar high, and we are so grateful. Their faculties delivered trolleys and trolleys of donated non-perishable food to the Bridge the Gap campaign headquarters. Our social workers were blown away!” said Karen Bruns, Senior Director at SU’s Development and Alumni Relations Division.
Viwe Benxa, Bridge the Gap ambassador and one of the Giving Day organisers, said not even a lack of spectators (due to COVID-19 regulations), could stop the participants from showing their competitive edge. “We had so much fun, and of course knowing that all the activities were to benefit a worthy cause, made it even more rewarding.”
Teams went head-to-head, until one team emerged victorious. The winners of the student communities tennis tournament were Silene and Eendrag (doubles); runners-up were Isa and Majuba; Lydia (singles) and runner-up Isa. Winners of the soccer tournament included an all-male team from Russel Botman House, women residence team winner was Irene and mixed gender team winners were Serruria and Huis Neethling.
“The movie marathon with all-day screenings of golden oldies such as The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump and Black Panther proved very popular. Black Panther was hands down the box office hit of the day and we managed to raise R8 000 in ticket sales!
“The tree decorators also put in a tonne of effort. We all agreed that while Monica’s tree was incredibly pretty, the most impactful was Venustia – right up there in terms of effort and thought,” added Benxa.
SU’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers, and a team of 19 cyclists consisting of alumni, staff, students and fighting-fit friends of the University, ended off the Giving Day activities on Sunday, 10 October, by taking part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour and raising funds for #Move4Food, one of the priority initiatives of the Annual Fund.
“For this Annual Fund to be a success, we need everyone to pitch in, and judging by the response and generosity we’ve experienced on Campus Giving Day, I can only see good things ahead. For those of you who are still wondering how to do your bit … there are ample opportunities. Efforts are now focused on our alumni, staff and friends making their contributions. Forego that extra cup of coffee; if you have a birthday coming up, consider asking your friends to donate instead of buying a birthday present; run a few kilometres in support of Bridge the Gap and get fit while you’re at it … We are here and ready to help you set up a page on GivenGain for your fundraising initiative. Every little bit helps!” Bruns concluded.
The Bridge the Gap Annual Fund runs until June next year. If you would like to get involved, please follow the various social media channels – Facebook (Bridge The Gap (SU), Instagram (@bridgethegapsu) and Twitter (@bridgethegap_su) – or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org