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Vergelegen Sunflower Celebration Seeds R5000 Donation!

20 April 2022

  • (Left to right): DKMS Africa former executive director Alana James, Vergelegen finance director Dean Carlse and DKMS Africa fundraising coordinator Nontobeko Mpeqeka.

A shared appreciation for bright yellow sunflowers has led to Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West donating R5000 to DKMS Africa, an organisation which provides blood cancer patients with a second chance at life.

DKMS Africa is a merge between a German nonprofit organisation, DKMS, and the South African Sunflower Fund. Vergelegen, which is renowned for its magnificent gardens and warm hospitality, donated a portion of the income from a sunflower celebration held earlier this year at its popular Stables family restaurant.

DKMS Africa former executive director Alana James and DKMS fundraising coordinator Nontobeko Mpeqeka accepted the donation from Vergelegen finance manager Dean Carlse on Friday 8 April.
Vergelegen MD Wayne Coetzer said that 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 this 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 imposed on South Africa, and guests loved tasting the new dishes and buying the bright blooms.

“We were delighted at this show of support from loyal friends of Vergelegen and wanted to express our appreciation by giving back in turn,” said Coetzer.

Accepting the donation, James said: “Your assistance means the world to us, our donors and, most especially, our patients. Thank you for choosing to support DKMS Africa, we sincerely appreciate your generous donation.”

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:

To visit Vergelegen:

By Judy Bryant - Meropa Communications