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Sent packing…the Knysna Golf Club ladies get to work filling 50 back-packs for learners at Hornlee Primary School. Pictured from the left: Knysna Santa Box co-ordinator Kelly Picken, ladies’ vice-captain Wendy du Toit, volunteer Sue Stavers, co-organisers Marion McIlvenna & Bev McKenna.

The festive season started with a swing at Knysna Golf Club on October 30 when volunteers from the ladies’ section gathered in the function room to fill 50 Knysna Santa Box back-packs with clothes, toys, school equipment and toiletries for 7 & 8 year-old boys and girls at Hornlee Primary School.

Club organisers Marion McIlvenna & Bev McKenna have been collecting weekly donations from club members over the past five weeks, totalling an excellent R9,450 – enough to purchase 50 clothing outfits, pen & pencil sets, writing paper, personal hygiene items and 100 toys & games!

Local Knysna Santa Box co-ordinator Kelly Picken arrived at the club with 50 donated back-packs and the ladies formed an assembly line to label & fill all the bags in just under an hour.

Commenting on the club’s efforts, Marion said: “Bev and I were astounded at the generosity of our members and delighted that we were able to fill so many packs.

“It’s been a tough year for everyone in Knysna, especially for the children whose families lost their homes and, in many cases, their jobs as a result of the terrible fires. We’re delighted that we will be able to provide some seasonal cheer for less fortunate youngsters in our community.

“It was a bit of a challenge to source and purchase so many similar items in a small town like ours but, somehow, everything came together in time.

“Checkers were marvelous in finding 44 of the 50 pen/pencil sets we needed from their different stores and our lady captain Sunet Venter (a dentist) donated dozens of tubes of toothpaste. We took advantage of 3-for-2 offers on toiletries in Clicks and used pensioner discount cards in SuperSpar and Game to get maximum value for toys and other items.”

The names of every club member who made donations will be entered into a lucky draw for a grown-up Santa Box full of goodies. The draw will be made at the ladies’ Christmas lunch on November 30.

The ladies plan to be present at the end of November when the packs are handed out at the school.