Bridgestone's cheque for a million rand is the biggest once-off donation ever received by breast cancer charity PinkDrive. This was revealed at the official handover of the cheque to PinkDrive founder, Noelene Kotschan. The money was raised from members of the public who bought sets of pink valve caps at Bridgestone outlets for R50 each. Bridgestone funded the cost of the caps and donated the entire purchase price to PinkDrive.
Speaking at the handover breakfast function at Emperors palace in Ekurhuleni, Bridgestone Promotions Manager, Jan Maritz, said the response from the public had been overwhelming. “When we first launched the pink valve cap project in October 2013, we were apprehensive about whether motorists would support such an unusual fundraiser,” he said. “We needn't have worried. With about 20 000 sets of valve caps sold, South Africa's drivers have rallied behind the cause,” he added.
PinkDrive's mission is to provide breast cancer awareness and screening services to disadvantaged communities. It now runs three mobile breast check units and three cars for community outreach. Since being founded, PinkDrive has provided over 5500 mammograms and almost 60 000 clinical breast examinations. It has also directly educated nearly 90 000 women on breast health.
PinkDrive's Kotschan said the million Rand would make a huge impact on the services PinkDrive was able to deliver. “It's three months' running costs,” she explained. “We provide 480 mammograms a month and educate ten times more women in breast health. This is a huge donation, the single biggest cash donation we've ever received,” she added. “I'm so grateful to Bridgestone and the motorists who did their bit by buying the pink valve caps,” she said.
Kotschan said that the women who were assisted by PinkDrive often had no medical aid or access to hospitals. “We provide the only way for them to be screened for breast cancer,” she said.
Bridgestone's Maritz urged the public to continue supporting PinkDrive. “SMS the word PINKDRIVE to 40158 to donate R20 straight away, or visit their website, www.pinkdrive.co.za for more information,” he concluded.