Cape Town - A grandfather from Retreat is gearing up to ride more than 1000 kilometres in just 14 hours to raise funds for a local children's home.
Tony Lawrence, director of Children and Youth Ministries for the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, will take to the open road on Friday 8 September to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Leliebloem House Children’s Home and raise funds to supports its work.
The home assists 60 children between four and 18 years old residential care programmes in Mitchells Plain, Athlone, Wynberg and Paarl, among others. The children are placed into this alternative programme by the court because they have been found to be in need of care and protection, and services in the community are not accessible.
'It was just never on my bucket list'
Lawrence, 62, who is passionate about youth development, says he first started riding motorcycles only five years ago.
"My son Paul is a biker and one year at Christmas lunch he said he was giving up his superbike and would go for a Harley-Davidson,” he explained.
“I asked him if I could take the superbike, but he told me to get a scooter instead. I didn’t like that and was determined to ride a motorbike.”
He laughed as he recalled how he failed his learner’s licence test.
“But OK, I wrote it again and passed - then I got a trainer and went for my riding test and passed the first time," he said proudly.
Since then, Lawrence has been riding the country flat on his motorcycle, saying he is “always prepared” for the long road.
For this fundraising trip, he will be leaving from Leliebloem House in Athlone at 6am and ride towards Grabouw. From there he will go on to Barrydale, Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West before heading back to Cape Town where he will make a grand entrance at the Garden Court Hotel for a homecoming dinner, hosted by Leliebloem House.
Lawrence and Leliebloem House are calling on the public to support this initiative by making a donation for every kilometre he travels.
“Donations can start from as little as 10 cents to R1000 per kilometre," he said, "and all the funds go to the home. People can also follow me on my journey as my GPS coordinates will be posted every 15 minutes.”
Visit givengain.com to support Lawrence’s ride for Lelieblom House.