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On 14 January we hosted a nail-biting final draw for our Annual Car Competition at the V&A Waterfront. We chatted to our three winners who are all delighted with their prizes. Congratulations to Jacky Niemand, Athalie Moolman and Jan Swanepoel. Our grateful thanks too, for your support of the NSRI.

First prize winner Jacky Niemand

Jacky has been an enthusiastic supporter of the NSRI for the last four years. After living in land-locked Joburg for close to 27 years, she welcomed the move to the coastal town of Gordon’s Bay near Cape Town in 2018, where she lives with her three dogs. “It’s a wonderfully supportive community,” she says, grateful for her new life near the ocean. After Joburg, where life really feels rushed, she feels she is able to concentrate on giving back to the Helderberg community in as many ways as she can. She can often be seen bag in hand collecting any refuse she finds on the beach and has become involved in programmes where she is able to sponsor individual animals in recovery (big cats and penguins) through donations.

Winning two Mitsubishis (a Pajero and an Eclipse) was probably the last thing on her mind when she was called to buy a ticket for the NSRI’s Annual Car Competition. But she agreed instantly. “I really take my hat off to the NSRI,” she says. “I love the sea and I’m a real water baby, but I would never be able to do what they do. And they do it with such love in their hearts. It’s so inspirational!”

Jacky bought her ticket and then promptly forgot about it, until she received the surprise call that she was a finalist. “The event was so well organised,” she continues. “The NSRI representatives were amazing, and I am still in awe that I won the two cars. I feel completely blessed – this prize has been life-changing for me.”

Jacky believes that if each of us makes a little difference by buying a ticket in support of the NSRI or becoming a member, it amounts to something big for the organisation. “I can’t go out and rescue people,” she says, “but I can do other stuff.” Jacky has made plans to volunteer for the NSRI and is looking at ways she can assist in a shore crew capacity. “I care about my community; it’s really about ‘the people next door’,” she says. “As the world is at the moment, it’s become more important for us to look after each other and care, and to show love to one another.” Congratulations and thank you, Jacky. Your philosophy of life is inspiring to us too!

Second prize winner Athalie Moolman

Athalie has been a supporter of the NSRI for 15 years, and particularly loves the fact that the volunteer crew will go out and rescue humans and animals, and even take part in mountain rescues if the call comes in. “These are good people, and I admire them greatly.” she says. “We don’t have a formal coast guard here, like many other countries in the world,” she says. “And we do have a rather long coastline.” When Athalie was called to buy a ticket, she had no idea she might win anything. “All one can do is perhaps have a little hope,” she laughs. But she was thrilled with her cash prize, which she “put straight into the bank”. Athalie, also an animal lover like Jacky, will continue to support the NSRI for as long as she is able to. Thank you, Athalie, for your kind support of the NSRI for so many years!

Third prize winner Jan Swanepoel

While Jan has been a supporter of NSRI for a number of years, he bought his first ever ticket for the Annual Car Competition in March 2021. In a case of beginner’s luck, he found himself on stage as a finalist waiting for the draw feeling “more nervous than he has ever been in his life”.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” he smiles, but was naturally thrilled with his dream holiday prize. “The NSRI does marvelous work, but are dependent on donors,” Jan says. “I live in Bloemfontein, but regularly visit Plett for holidays, and I saw the volunteers in action there a couple of years ago when they went out on a rescue.” After Jan bought his ticket, he more or less forgot about it, and when he was called and informed he was a finalist he just wondered to himself, “How is this possible?” Jan thoroughly enjoyed the draw event at the V&A Waterfront, and we thank him for his support.

Click here to find find out more about the 2022 Annual Car Competition

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