An epic adventure while spreading a little cheer

They did it. Cyclists, braving the bitter cold eastern Free State winter temperatures and long, winding district roads, travelling from Parys to Clarens by mountain bike.
A 275 km challenge for these fearless mountain bikers taking on the winter cold, long roads and tired legs – all in aid of the  Lehlohonolo Day Care Centre for orphaned and vulnerable children in Tumahole, Parys.
The centre, started by Father Lewis Balink in 2002, provides day care for children ranging from infants to Grade 12.
In his lifetime, Fr Balink sourced continuous funding for the centre and a non-profit organisation, called Saso (South African Samaritan Organisation), was founded to look after the centre and its children. He cared for these children until his passing in 2007.
The Lewis Balink Foundation then took over the centre. A German choir currently supports the centre with a food budget per month, but that is all they have.
Even so, the centre offers the children food, art classes and education on a daily basis.
Now, the centre is in desperate need of ablution facilities for the 65 children, and teachers. Thanks to donations from abroad, the Lewis Balink Foundation can start building a portion of the planned facilities, but requires additional funding to complete it with a shortfall of around R62 000.
By asking the public to pledge their support of R1 for every kilometre they ride, the cyclists’ effort helped with a financial contribution towards the ablution facilities.  Businesses or non-profit organisations were asked for a R5 contribution per kilometre.

People who still want to support are welcome to phone Christian on 083 566 1172.
Conquer for Hope organised the tour as an initiative that joins hands with business, endurance adventurers and creative professionals to take on epic outdoor adventures while spreading a little cheer along the way.
Follow the progress of the building project on the Lewis Balink Foundation’s Facebook page. Anyone who would like to help can also contact Iris on 083 650 8712.
Joy without end for community’s help for centre
In addition to the cyclists’ effort the community of Parys generously donated second-hand toys, art supplies and stationery. The personnel of Parys Gazette also made sure that each and every child would have their own clay to play with, especially made for them by the staff members.
The clay and toys were handed to the children just before the departure of the cyclists on their journey from Parys to Clarens.

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