Atlas Copco is firmly committed to community development and regularly participates in philanthropic initiatives. On 2 November 2018, the company joined forces with Rand Air to hand over a donation to the Apricot Tree Centre situated in Benoni, east of Johannesburg.
A team of eighteen cyclists from the two companies selected Apricot Tree Centre as their ‘Ride for a Purpose’ at this year’s Telkom 94.7 Cycle Challenge on 18 November. ‘When Atlas Copco’s Supplier Development Manager, Marilyn Govender, who rode for Apricot Tree in her own capacity in last year’s Cycle Challenge, approached us to get involved in this worthy cause, we eagerly agreed,’ explains Atlas Copco’s group human resources manager Wendy Buffa-Pace. ‘Recognising the good work done by Apricot Tree and the tremendous need of this non-profit organisation, we decided to raise the funds even before the cycle event!’ The Atlas Copco / Rand Air cycling group displayed their generosity and dedication to helping those in need by raising R13 000.
The Apricot Tree Centre is a school that is committed to the stimulation and development of children and young adults aged between three and twenty five years with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Errol Treacher and his wife, Micaela, motivated by their mentally disabled daughter, Maxine, founded the facility in 2009. The Centre is dedicated to helping these children who live with varying and unique disabilities to reach their maximum potential. The facility currently cares for twenty five children and young adults from 08:00am till 12:30pm daily but has the capacity to cater for thirty-two individuals. The Centre’s ultimate goal is to purchase property for the development of a live-in centre where young adults can enjoy a comfortable, secure and productive life after leaving the Centre at the age of twenty-five. Apricot Tree remains committed to raising the necessary funds to make this expansion project dream a reality.
Annette van Niekerk, fundraiser coordinator and admin clerk at the Apricot Tree Centre, extends a sincere thank you to Atlas Copco and Rand Air for their generous and most welcome donation which she affirms will be put to very good use. ‘In addition to new equipment and building maintenance, a portion of the funds will go towards paying the bond.’ Van Niekerk adds that Apricot Tree will be at the 80km power zone to cheer the cyclists on and she wished them all the best for the race.
After a tour through the Apricot Tree Centre’s junior and senior facilities, children welcomed the Atlas Copco/Rand Air cyclists and employees with a special thank you song. Annette then officially welcomed everyone and again expressed their gratitude for the monetary donation. Noluthando Zondo, communications professional at Atlas Copco, thanked Apricot Tree for the cycling goodie bags handed over by each child to the riders and also praised the children for their beautiful songs. ‘It was a truly rewarding experience to meet and interact with the children and see the positive impact that these donations can make on their lives.’
The Atlas Copco/Rand Air cyclists’ donation and ‘Ride for a Purpose’ to raise awareness for the Apricot Tree Centre during the 94.7 cycle challenge reinforces the two businesses’ commitment to helping with the upliftment of people and communities in need.