Greathearts go for broke at Comrades

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

The Starfish Greathearts Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which was formed in 2001 in response to the increasing number of orphans infected with and affected by HIV-Aids, is hoping to raise more money from this year's Comrades Marathon.

Last year a total of 150 Starfish Greathearts rose to the challenge by completing the gruelling race and raised R280 000 for the foundation.

Greathearts are runners who are not affiliated to the foundation and do not compete for prizes in the Comrades but to raise funds for the affected children.

They ask family members and friends for donations for this cause.

More than 220 Greathearts are expected to compete in the race on June 17, which has attracted more than 11 000 runners.

Starfish is making a noteworthy impact in 75 communities across the country, working with 46 NGOs and community-based organisations, enabling them to care for and support more than 23 000 children.

"We are hoping that more runners will sign up as Greathearts and help us raise more money, which will make a real difference in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children throughout South Africa," said Kelli Givens, acting chief executive of the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

The public can also make a difference by purchasing a Starfish bracelet for R12 at any Mr Price, Miladys or Sheet Street stores from June 11 and the proceeds will go to the foundation

"The Comrades Marathon is a world-renowned event that showcases our great country, our people and the spirit it takes to be a South African. We are encouraging runners to now be Greathearts," Givens said.