The Little Optimist Trust raises R100000 to help Dusty beat cancer

On Wednesday 11 March, The Little Optimist Trust held a fundraiser for Dustin Heinze, or Dusty as he is fondly known, at Atlantic Boat Club.

Dusty works as a skipper of a sport fishing boat in Hout Bay and is close to many of the Atlantic Boat Clubs’ members hearts. Last year, he was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme brain cancer. With no private medical aid, he underwent surgery and radiation at Groote Schuur, and he continues to fight for his life. Dusty needs a very costly monthly maintenance dose of chemotherapy that is only available privately, and members of Atlantic Boat Club, other cancer survivors, family and friends rallied to raise funds for the necessary chemo.

Dusty is married with three young children. His wife, Tina, and Mom, Wendy worked tirelessly to get as many wonderful auction and raffle items sponsored – and did an exemplary job. Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing sponsored a keg of beer and pizzas. Ivor Karan of KARAN BEEF has been assisting Dusty already, and sponsored some amazing auction items on the night too. It was an honor to have him and his wife at the auction, along with Mark Delany of Two Oceans Marine. Greg Bertish of The Little Optimist Trust, a survivor of 200 days in hospital and two heart valve replacements, said a few words about Dusty and created an amazing vibe and then ran the auction. The event was put together and run by the Little Optimist Trust and its team, whose mission is to help kids (and people) in need!  Thanks goes out to Kirsten Veenstra and the Excellence Group ladies for assisting on the night.

Before the actual auction event, Barry Stringer of Reef Wetsuits had put out a challenge to his fellow members of Atlantic Boat Club to all pledge some money for Dusty’s treatment. With so many members like Barry parents of young children themselves, the club members pledged and collected over R 35 000 ahead of the actual fundraising event – a heartwarming response.

The original aim was to raise R50 000 for Dusty’s treatments.  The support on the night far surpassed that. The donations on the night, raffle tickets and auction, raised approximately R60 000 – with the total being almost double the amount that had been aimed for. (Pledges are still being collected and assigned – the final total amount raised will be confirmed once these are collected)

Longstanding members of Atlantic Boat Club commented that they were absolutely blown away by the way the club rallied behind the evening and to help one of their own – and there were many wet eyes at Atlantic Boat Club, with members moved to tears by the way the members of the club rallied to help a fellow member beat cancer.

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