Cyclists help give the gift of sight

From left, Frederick Jansen, of Rotary, Philip Kannemeyer, Outriders vice chairman, and Fran Dicks, of St Lukes Hospice and an Outrider member.

The organisers of the annual West Coast Express cycle race have handed a cheque for R25 000 – along with hundreds of used spectacles, frames and sunglasses – to the Rotary Club of Melkbos.

The Outriders Cycling Club made the presentation during a Rotary meeting at the Atlantic Beach Hotel, in Melkbosstrand, on Tuesday November 7.

Every year, the race organisers select a charity project to support and this year they chose the Rotary Club of Melkbosstrand’s ICare Project, which promotes early detection and timely treatment of eye diseases to prevent vision loss and blindness.

Riders were encouraged to take along any used spectacles, sunglasses or new frames to the race.

The St Luke’s Hospice (West Coast) also donated.

The spectacles will be refurbished with new lenses if necessary, and given to the needy, including pensioners and school children.

The R25 000, which will be used to pay for replacement lenses, is from the race proceeds and is a thank-you to the Melkbosstrand Rotarians who marshalled during the event.

Rotarian and optometrist Frederik Jansen thanked the Outriders, saying: “These funds and spectacles will really make a big difference in people’s lives, from young school children struggling with their vision, to helping adults earn a living, who otherwise would not be able to without the gift of sight.

“There is nothing better than to see a little girl smile when she can see properly for the first time, or a man being able to support his family again, now that he is able to see clearly.”

Outriders club chairman Derwyn Oxley praised the Rotarians for the work they were doing.

“They are changing lives for the better, and we are humbled by their incredible work.”

* For more information on Melkbos Rotary and the ICare project, visit https://www.melkbosrotary.co.za.

* The Outriders meet every Saturday morning at 7am in the Planet Fitness parking lot. All cyclists are welcome.

Visit www.theoutriders.co.za for more information.