The Comrades Marathon Centenary Hope Challenge virtual event took place on the 13th of June 2021 following the cancellation of the road race due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Bearing the campaign theme of Ithemba or Hope, thousands of runners from across the globe took to the streets in the hope to run for more than themselves and support the CMA Amabeadibeadi charities. The WILDTRUST, was once again part of the six charities that benefit from this event, raising funds for its community and conservation projects across South Africa.
The WILDTRUST set a target to raise R1 million for its various projects which include restoration, climate change mitigation, conservation, youth empowerment and community upliftment through training and development. While the target seemed ambitious, especially considering the event was hosted virtually, the Trust is excited to announce that through over 300 individual donations from event entries and our WILDTRUST Race4Charity runners, a total of over R400 000 was raised for our work.
The WILDTRUST wishes to shine a spotlight on Grant Cummings who single-handedly raised a whopping R367 469 through his extensive network of supporters. Grant is a seasoned Green Number Comrades runner who has completed both the up and down runs with silver medals. Grant has a deep passion for fundraising and has raised over R1 million for various causes over the years which he humbly attributes to his extremely supportive wife and generous friends, family, and business networks.
“I had set out to raise R430 850, which also happens to be my Green Number (43085) plus a zero. This target seemed insurmountable, but I am truly grateful to my sponsors and supporters, for helping me raise more during this campaign then during any other campaign in which I’ve been involved. None of this achievement would have been possible without them and my number one supporter, my wife, Tenley Cummings. We are already planning for 2022, and we hope that the pandemic will not prevent us from making the journey from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, again. Huge thanks to WILDTRUST for all that they do for our communities, as well as the conservation of our lands and seas,” comments Grant Cummings.
“We are very grateful to Grant for choosing the WILDTRUST. This is the first time we have ever had one individual raise over 90% of the funds on his own,” said Buyi Makhoba-Dlamini of WILDLANDS. “In these very uncertain financial times, we would like to thank Grant from the bottom of our hearts for truly inspiring a sense of hope for our projects. Grant upheld the Comrades theme of Ithemba – Hope. We would like to thank all his supporters as well as all the other individuals who have helped us reach almost 50% of our set target. You are all our Comrades heroes,” said Makhoba-Dlamini.
While we are all sitting on edge wondering what the future holds for mass participation events, we remain hopeful that the world will once again be a safe place for people to run the Ultimate Human Race.
“We would like to thank the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) for allowing us to be part of the Amabeadibeadi charities. The funds received through this year’s virtual event will support all our work across our WILDLANDS and WILDOCEANS programmes. We look ahead with great expectation that the tide on the current situation changes for the better,” concludes WILDTRUST CEO, Dr Roelie Kloppers.