Despite tough times, women in the information and communication technology (ICT) industry raised a massive R61 106.11 to help the Sandton SPCA build a new sterile clinic.

The money was raised through a Women’s Day initiative, 101 Donations, organised by Channelwise and A-Plus.

Every year, Women’s Day events around the country raise funds for deserving causes.

With a legacy going back 18 years, the A-Plus Women’s Day luncheon brings together women in the channel and has raised hundreds of thousands over the years. With the pandemic raging, the luncheon couldn’t go ahead as usual this year, so the A-Plus Channelwise Women’s Day Challenge was set up to help bridge the gap.

A Back-a-Buddy page was set up, and women in the IT industry were urged to donate. A “Cutest pet” contest – won by Gabi Erasmus and her Pekingese pup – helped to encourage engagement, and a massive R56 106.11 was raised on this platform.

When Channelwise editor Mark Davison put some skin in the game in the form of a R1 000.00 personal donation and a challenge to the men in the industry to match it, wildlife artist Gary Streak was quick to take up the gauntlet. He donated an original oil painting of the Big Five to be auctioned for the cause. The winning bid of R5 000.00 pushed the total raised to R61 106.11.

Nafisa Desbois vice-chair of the Sandton SPCA, explains that the organisation operates in a vast area that stretches from Fourways to Bertrams.

At any time, between 200 and 300 animals are in the care of the organisation, where they are housed and fed, and have access to veterinary care.

As the registered national pound, the SPCA is responsible for taking in lost, abandoned, neglected and mistreated animals. In addition, people who find themselves unable to care for their pets are able to surrender them to the SPCA, knowing they will receive the best possible care.

Where necessary, the organisation prosecutes cases of cruelty, and takes on the task of rehabilitating and rehoming hundreds of animals every year.

Veterinary care is a vital service without which the SPCA couldn’t operate effectively, Desbois points out. Apart from emergency doctoring, routine assessments and day-to-day care of the animals in its care, the SPCA also ensures that every animal leaving the premises is sterilised.

The existing clinic at Sandton SPCA is too small for the number of animals that it services today, and veterinary surgeons battle to keep their surgeries sterile.

The new clinic will keep public areas well separated from surgeries and recovery pens, so members of the public can be served while sick animals and those undergoing surgery will be safe and comfortable in a new and sterile environment.

“We’re thrilled that we were able to contribute – on behalf of the women in the ICT industry – to such a worthy cause,” says A-Plus MD Sue Castelyn. “It’s wonderful to see the clinic under construction, and know that the funds raised are earmarked to make it a better place where the animals will receive the best care, in the best environment.”

Mark Davison, editor of Channelwise, comments: “Times are tough for everyone, so we are delighted at how much this initiative raised. We know how generous women in the industry are – every year they raise thousands at Women’s Day events – and they have come though again.

“Thank you to each and every person who contributed: the money is going to a great cause.”

Wilna Lamb, Marketing Manager SPCA; Kathy Gibson, Publisher ChannelWise; Sue Castelyn, MD A-Plus Communications; and Nafisa Desbois, Vice-Chair of Sandton SPCA Picture courtesy of Strike a Pose Photography