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The greater Stanford area organized its first fire fighters Family Fun Day on Freedom Day, at the Birkenhead Brewery. On Wednesday, 27 April, the greater Stanford community organized an event to thank the fire fighters and their families at Birkenhead in Stanford. This event is fully sponsored by estates, farms, businesses, and individuals, etc. in the greater Stanford area, from Wolvegat to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Sponsorship was received in the form of products, donations and participation.
Fires are a great threat and concern to big parts of South Africa’s nature, its people and its animals, especially in the Overberg region where fynbos has a dominant role in nature. The Overstrand is host to one of the world’s biospheres with the greatest variety in plants.
For fynbos, fire is a faraway friend and a very close enemy. Fynbos needs fire once in a while to survive and bloom. Fynbos and all of nature in our Overberg area makes it a most desirable place to live, to grow vines and make wines, to have farms with cattle and grains, and for businesses to flourish.
For all of this to happen and to protect, we are dependent on our fire fighters. They create for us the freedom to choose to live in our beautiful Overberg region.
We rely on them entirely, especially in the summer season. They do their job with dedication and fearlessness, often facing risks and danger that can have an impact on their families. Fires do not bypass public holidays or weekends, nor do they extinguish at night.
Being a fire fighter is more a calling than a job. We almost take it for granted when they are there when needed most. The first Fire Fighters Family Fun Day was organized on Freedom Day to say thank you. This day was fully sponsored. Kids enjoyed pony rides, a jumping caste, jungle gym and face painting. Boerewors rolls and sausages were served, wines and beers poured, and vouchers for visits to Panthera Africa were handed out. A presentation was given by the fire fighters to demonstrate their state of the art vehicle. Jerry Fourie entertained with his music the first half of the day, and djTess finished the day of with her groovy tunes.
More than 65 fire fighters and families were present including volunteers, contract workers, full time employees, EPWP members, the SAPS, Traffic Department and Law Enforcement, OPS, FPA and more. More than 160 enjoyed this first of a series of yearly events, that was kicked off with a prayer by Chaplin Mark, and speeches by Graig Niemand, Chief Fire Officer Lester Smith, Divisional Commander Brian Lobb and FPA, Louise Wessels. Rob Bell of White Water Farm and Harry Poortman of HaesFarm welcomed everyone and hosted the event with other members of the organizing committee including Panthera Africa and djTess.
The funds raised for this event will be used in full for the Fire Fighters in the Overberg region in order to supply them with much needed state of the art appliances.
All this was made possible thanks to many sponsors, Birkenhead Brewery, volunteers and Stanford Tourism. The organizing committee expresses their gratitude for all positive reactions, donations and contributions. Without you, this first Fire Fighters Family Fun Day would not have been possible.
Harry Poortman, on behalf of the Organizing Committee