Dear Cape Town Cycle Tour Participants,
Thank you for the support shown during the Cape Town Cycle Tour – Show Your Care Solidarity Ride.
The Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) would like to thank you for all the support we received during the Cape Fires in March 2015. The Cape Town, Boland, local and international communities have been so supportive not only of the VWS but also all the organisations involved during the major fires in the South Peninsula and Jonkershoek.
To be the beneficiaries, along with Table Mountain National Parks, of the immense generosity of the Cape Town Cycle Tour fundraising initiative has been humbling for our small organisation.
The ‘Show You Care Solidarity Ride’ was so well supported by the cycling community and we were so blessed to have been part of it. I think the VWS caused quite a few riders to have a ‘slower’ time due to so many of the cyclists stopping off at Newlands Base to say ‘hi’ to us on the 8th March.
It was a privilege and honour for the VWS to stand on the side of the road and cheer on the riders dressed in red or some sort of firefighting paraphernalia and to say thank you our way! Seeing the sea of cyclists from early in the morning til just after lunch was an incredible experience. We hope that you enjoyed the race as much as we did.
As you can well imagine, the 2014/15 fire season has been an extremely busy and emotional one for the VWS and we have achieved some remarkable milestones. During the first two weeks of March 2015, our volunteers completed more than 5000 fire-fighting hours over the intense 14 day period. This included our members fighting the fires, assisting in the Planning and Control offices and assisting in various other support roles.
To put things into perspective in our 2013-2014 fire season we completed around 2000 fire-fighting hours in total. We even responded to a fire the night before the Cape Town Cycle Tour and another fire during the race.
This monumental effort comes at a cost, not only in monetary terms but in the time that our dedicated volunteers are away from their families and their full time employment. To receive your R278 977.00 donation from the incredible fundraising effort during one of our busiest seasons has been an enormous relief to our organisation and for that we cannot thank you enough. Without your help we simply wouldn’t be able to continue to fight fires in the Cape and Boland regions.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And we hope to see you at Newlands again next year – hopefully from only the outbound lane on the M3!