Wed, 04 Apr 2007
The Camps Bay venue, La Med, was transformed into a hive of activity and generosity on Thursday 22 March 2007 as 300 guests bid on items ranging from wine to books and art to jewellery to raise funds for the Cape Leopard Trust.
Established to save the species from the brink of extinction, its patrons are well aware of the challenges facing the Trust and the magnificent creatures it protects. Franschhoek-based Leopard's Leap Wine, which donates a percentage of its sales to the Trust, donated R120 000 while Deutsche Bank added a further R50 000 to the total R400 000 raised on the evening.
Before handing over to auctioneer Joey Burke from Auction Alliance, Hein Koegelenberg, CEO and founder the global wine label Leopard's Leap Wines said, "We're here for three reasons tonight. Firstly, we're here to take an active role in conservation. These endangered animals need our help. Secondly, we're here to celebrate the Trust's success and pay tribute to Quinton Martin for project managing the Trust flawlessly. And finally, we're here to ensure the continued success of the Trust by making a contribution. To that end, Leopard's Leap Wines is handing over R100 000 raised between May to December last year as a result of sales. So please, continue buying our wine."
"Corporate donations and the public's generosity have been pivotal to the Trust's success. Proceeds collected at our fundraiser are particularly timely and will do much to further protect the species and hopefully, avoid another death," comments Quinton Martins referring to the recent loss of Colin, a male leopard which was tragically killed in a gin trap on the edge of the study area three days after the fundraiser.
"This is the first death of a leopard since the inception of the Trust making it particularly tragic," says Martins, project manager for the Cape Leopard Trust and scholar whose groundbreaking work on leopard ecology is contributing towards a PhD through the University of Bristol, U.K.
Leopard's Leap Wines is challenging citizens of the Western Cape to make a difference with a small donation to assist it in stamping out gin traps. Visit www.capeleopard.org.za/ to make a donation or call 027 482 2785.