Tree lights up lives of little ones

Horseracing and tote betting operator Phumelela will brighten the festive season for hundreds of underprivileged children at the annual Phumelela Christmas Tree race meeting at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday.

Horseracing and tote betting operator Phumelela will brighten the festive season for hundreds of underprivileged children at the annual Phumelela Christmas Tree race meeting at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday.

The funds to stage the Christmas Tree are raised through a direct contribution by Phumelela and the sale of race sponsorships and hospitality tables at the meeting to companies and racing stakeholders. Donations are also deeply appreciated.

The race sponsors this year are:

lAfrican Betting Clan/ Interbet

lBrian Roux/ BBR Bloodstock Shipping

lGroup 1 Engineering International Contractors

lHot Pot Paints

lJ Maroun/ M Khan - Bulldog Abrasivesl

l Mike de Kock Racing Stables

l Mining Pressure Systems

l The Citizen

lThe Racing Association.

Other companies and individuals supporting the Christmas Tree are Boswell Wilkie Circus, Carry-On Projects, Gary Alexander Stables, Graham Hodges, Isizwe Hospitality, OWA Ceilings and Tellytrack.

Tellytrack presenter Julie Alexander was responsible for selling the race sponsorships and hospitality tables, while racehorse owner Graham Hodges of the St Laurence's Children's Home and the Phumelela marketing and hospitality teams are dealing with the finer details of the function.

This year's Christmas Tree raceday embraces nearly 300 kids from five homes in the south of Johannesburg - St Laurence's Children's Haven, Abraham Kriel Children's Home, ABC Kids, Mayfair Shelter and the Mini-Care Centre for Abused Children.

The day will be filled with entertainment and goodies for the children, and will enable them to forget their circumstances for at least a while.

They will be treated to a traditional Christmas lunch in the Aquanaut Room and later presented with Christmas presents.

Children are asked well before the event to compile a present wish list and where possible their wishes are accommodated.

The net proceeds from the Christmas Tree are distributed among the participating homes afterwards. Each home is asked to compile a wish list of items that will enhance the lives of the children going forward and these are purchased on their behalf.

"Phumelela is involved in several corporate social investment (CSI) projects, but the Christmas Tree is our favourite.

"For horseracing to bring a ray of light into the lives of little people who are much less fortunate than us is very special," said Robert Garner, Phumelela's general manager marketing and communications.

"On behalf of Phumelela, many thanks to those who are sponsoring races or contributing in other ways. It's only because of the generosity of our many partners that the Christmas Tree is able to touch the lives of as many children as it does."

This year's Christmas Tree was expanded to incorporate a Christmas lunch at Turffontein on Friday 5 December for some 300 pupils from the nearby Kenilworth Junior Secondary School.

X