When my wife, Michele, and I returned from our fourth visit to Londolozi this summer, we were, as always, filled with memories of our incredible experiences. This year’s visit was even more special as we had the opportunity with friends to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Good Work Foundation’s 5th digital learning centre at Dumphries. We were thrilled to see so many youngsters actively engaged in their learning, making use of technology.
Why were we there? Why was this so special? The answers lie in the Londolozi/GWF/Sarasota connection. In fact, we celebrate this connection every other year at our SAFARI SARASOTA event.
Safari Sarasota was created in memory of Leanna Knopik, a 16-year-old native of Sarasota, to raise funds for the All Heart Fund, a fundraising arm of the Good Work Foundation. Leanna passed away nearly one year after visiting (and falling in love with) South Africa. It was her dream to educate and work with children in schools and orphanages in Africa.
“I want to volunteer in Africa. I’ve never been so sure of something in my whole life.” – Excerpt from Leanna’s diary.
Since 2013, the All Heart Fund, in partnership with the Good Work Foundation, has helped build five schools, providing high impact digital education to over 7,000 South African school children and young adults each week! In July of this year, several of our All Heart Fund founders were on hand to celebrate the opening of the fifth school at Dumphries!
Safari Sarasota was a three-day (Oct. 24-26), five-event experience inspired by Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club travels to Londolozi and a passion to support digital learning in rural areas of South Africa. To this date more than 300 Sarasota residents have travelled the 13500 kilometres to visit Londolozi!
Our event this year was attended by Dave & Boyd Varty, Chef Anna Ridgewell, Ranger James Tyrrell, GWF campus manager Fumani Mathumbu, and Kate Groch, the CEO of GWF. Some of the highlights at the auction were the photos donated by the Londolozi rangers. We are very excited with their participation and have generated an additional $250,000 for the All Heart Fund!