The Igazi Foundation and their work in the haematological field were put into the spotlight at the SPAR Eastern Cape Jason Kieck Fashion Extravaganza over the weekend.
The annual fashion production at the Boardwalk Hotel and Casino has become one of the must-attend events in Port Elizabeth and Kieck said this year’s show had surpassed all expectations.
Over 500 people attended what Kieck called “more of an entertainment production than just a fashion show” as local models strutted their stuff on the catwalk, with “Elemental” fashion the theme.
The beneficiary for the third year in a row was the Igazi Foundation, an Eastern Cape non-governmental organisation (NGO) aimed at combating blood diseases by improving haematological services in a wide range of areas.
Following the fashion show and auction, it’s believed that in excess of R200 000 was raised for Igazi, although secretary Cole Cameron said the total still had to be finalised.
Kieck said the success of the production was evident in the fact that some sponsors were already talking about coming on board next year.
“We have grown in numbers and it’s gone from strength to strength,” said Kieck, who has been running the production for 17 years.
“We are blessed and fortunate to have worked with SPAR for the last four years.
“The people we deal with there are brilliant. They are people who care and they do it because they love what they are doing.”
Kieck, who has lived in PE since 1994, said this year’s show would be a “hard act to follow”, but demonstrated that the region was capable of delivering high quality fashion and entertainment productions.
“There’s a perception of PE as a small town in terms of fashion and we obviously battle to generate the same sort of publicity you can get in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“But we had people from those cities here last weekend and they said it was better than anything they had seen. So it’s a feather in our cap.”
Cameron said they were overwhelmed with the success of the event and funds raised, which would be earmarked for various projects next year.
“There is nothing specific we have in mind, but we run a number of projects on an annual basis,” he said.
“These range from maintaining essential haematology equipment and organising educational programmes countrywide to increasing our registry of bone marrow donors.”
As a volunteer organisation, Cameron said none of their staff were paid and they received no funding from government.
“We do our own fundraising and we also get support from private donors and some pharmaceutical companies.”
He said the show was a “massive help to make things better for our patients” and he paid tribute to SPAR for their contribution.
“SPAR have come on board, but they have already been involved with us by often supporting the Igazi Foundation from a cancer point of view.
“To have a major brand behind any NGO is very important and we are so grateful for that.”