2021 may have thrown more than a few nasty curveballs at us, and we’re absolutely glad to see the back of another challenging year, but there were a few bright spots in ’21, not least of all the return of the OneWingz Golf and legend Tribute!
With Covid rampaging through 2020, we were unable to hold our legendary, yearly Golf Day, and, the equally legendary Legend Tribute, which had proven such a smash hit success in 2019 at Steyn City! Thanks to the support of our patrons in 2019, the over R 1 million raised at that event, managed to tide OneWingz over through 2020, where, with the donations and services and supplies sponsored for our Mandela House project, we managed to disburse nearly R 2 million in assistance over that period.
But we were desperate to have another Golf & Legend Tribute in 2021! And the Gods were good to OneWingz. Planned to host another 128 golfers, and 500 invited guests at the brand new Lagoon at Steyn City for the first outdoor Legend Tribute under the stars, we were facing the prospect of scaling down, or even cancelling, due to the prevailing Lockdown restrictions. And then Cyril, and the weather, stepped up for us! A week before our Sept 23rd event, The President relaxed the lockdown restrictions, which meant all our guests could be accommodated, and it was all systems go for the event!
And it was our 14th perfect September day, weather-wise (it rained a week later!) for the golf day, as Diane Mark and her Mark My Words Team, together with the amazing and efficient Steyn City Golf and Marketing Team, pulled out all the stops to make it another incredibly successful and enjoyable day of golf. R600 000 was raised just through the golf alone, (which was sold out within 26 hours back in April)!
While the golf was being enjoyed by our golfing patrons, wearing their awesome Golfers Club-sponsored shirts, and Courier Guy sponsored Caps, preparations were being made at the brand new, and spectacular Steyn City Lagoon, where the evening Legend Tribute concert was to follow for our golfers and their invited guests. What an amazing venue welcomed our guests as they arrived …. Mix FM broadcasting live from the lawns as they wandered alongside the 300m lagoon to their tables, set up with a perfect view of the spectacular stage set up by Chris Shaw and Harris & Miller Productions and their team! Rehearsals were done that afternoon, with Brent Harris and Thee Jam once again the band of choice to back a stellar array of artists, who included Ard Matthews, Dr Victor, Soweto Gospel Choir, Claire Johnston, Cito & Martin from Wonderboom, Ross Learmonth from Prime Circle, Majozi, Jesse Clegg, PJ Powers, Drum Theatre, Zolani Mahola from Freshly Ground, and of course, our founding patron Kurt Darren!
But the show was definitely stolen by one act … my son, Mark! The boy whose battle with cancer as a one year old, led to the establishment of OneWingz 10 years ago, had been given the challenge by me to learn a song by Elton John on the piano – his passion – and if he did so in good time, he could perform amongst these legendary stars! Well, he not only nailed Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” in a matter of 2 months, he also added Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” to his repertoire long before the event date, and so I added him to the line-up, to perform the latter on the piano, on stage!
He had battled during rehearsals the day before, and his performance almost never happened! However, his Mom told me that he had a problem using one of the band-provided keyboards … he wanted his own type, with weighted keys …. And he brought his own for the big night.
And he nailed it!!!! Have a look at a clip of his performance here! Mark had the crowd in tears as he confidently cruised through the album version of “Piano Man”, and made his Mom and Dad so damn proud!
After 2019 at the Shed at Steyn City, many patrons said that that show would be very difficult to beat! However, after the 2021 show, many of the same unanimously agreed that it was THE best Legend Tribute ever, and for many, the best show they had seen anywhere! The fact that we could bring a live show to our prized fundraiser, and give the artists some respite from nearly 2 years of debilitating lockdown inactivity was also so rewarding.
Part of the evening saw the raffle prizes being awarded, and also a few auction items, which included an amazing framed Johnny Clegg montage, and which alone, raised R 35 000. In the end, the raffle and auction realised a further R 300 000+, which meant our day had raised over R 900 000!
And that’s 900 000 THANK YOU’s to all our patrons, suppliers, sponsors and service providers, who make this event one of THE best events of the year in South Africa!
It would be possible without them, and especially, given the challenging times, our main sponsor The Courier Guy, who cover so many of the costs of the event, as well as Steyn City, who provide their world-class facilities to us at no cost, and spare no cost as well to make sure we can have a most successful and enjoyable event!
2021 may be a tough one to beat, or even match …. but the people and communities who benefit weekly from the money raised, inspire us to take on that challenge, which we look forward to doing …. in September 2022!