The positive energy surrounding the Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge celebrating its 18th year, is gaining momentum at a rapid pace. The event takes place on 24 September 2017 and is owned by the Lions of Uniondale and Knysna, with all proceeds from the event go to charity.
Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become Knights of the Blind, and the participants over the years – have helped Knysna and Uniondale to achieve this status. 3564 cataract operations in the Southern Cape have been paid for by funds raised by the event. The recipients of the operations come from the entire Southern Cape area: Riversdale to Plett and as far as Oudtshoorn and Uniondale.
Sixty guide dogs (puppies) have been donated through the South African Guide Dog Association. In the last 2 years, the Lions have sponsored the training of Two guide dogs from inception. The event also uses charities to manage their water and marshalling points. These charities receive donations in order to benefit their own chosen projects.
Camargue Specialized Liability Chairman – Mitch Marescia – and his team have started an incredible project whereby they have raised funds to build classrooms for the Avontuur LB School. As a result of the excellent progress being made from contributions, the school has been asked to take on additional children from a neighboring district! The Regional Authorities have been impressed by the Camargue initiative and are pledging more support for the efforts of Principal Baxter and Team in the uplifting of this rural community school.
In May 2017 the Lions also donated two 5000 litre tanks, gutters and a pump to the Knysna High School finish venue. The motivation behind this was to help alleviate the drought in the area by capturing water from the ablution facility roof and also to allow riders to shower after the event.
The event has taken another positive and conscious step this year in order to give back to local communities. The Knysna based Hands Design Collective will be making the finisher and winners medals for the first time this year. They are a local female owned co-operative empowering women through craft and skills training.
For more information visit www.karootocoast.com