A shared appreciation for bright yellow sunflowers led to Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West donating R5000 to DKMS Africa in April 2022. DKMS Africa is a partnership between a German nonprofit organisation, DKMS, and the South African Sunflower Fund. It provides blood cancer patients with a second chance at life.
Vergelegen donated a portion of the income from a sunflower celebration held earlier in 2022 at its popular Stables family restaurant. Former DKMS executive director Alana James and DKMS fundraising coordinator Nontobeko Mpeqeka accepted the donation from Vergelegen finance manager Dean Carlse.
The seeds of this donation were first planted in early 2021 when sunflowers were grown to brighten up the entrance to the estate arboretum. Estate visitors responded so enthusiastically that this initial project was expanded into a full-blown sunflower celebration in the summer. The Stables family restaurant offered sunflower-themed dishes on the menu, waitrons sported new outfits with “Vergelegen is blooming amazing”, visitors bought hundreds of bunches of sunflowers, and sunflower selfies were shared online.
The result? Restaurant and horticultural staff were busy and highly motivated during the summer season, despite the travel bans then imposed on South Africa, and guests loved tasting the new dishes and buying the bright blooms. Vergelegen was delighted at this show of support from loyal friends of the estate and wanted to express its appreciation by giving back in turn.
She said DKMS has registered over 11 million potential donors internationally and facilitated over 92,000 lifesaving stem cell donations. “The fight continues as every year tens of thousands of patients worldwide need a blood stem cell transplant and are searching for their perfect match.”
To learn more about DKMS Africa: https://www.dkms-africa.org/