Leading local value retailer adds value to kids' lives

Put five celebrity team leaders, each supported by a crew of energetic kids, against each other in fun races and you're guaranteed equal amounts of goodwill and enjoyment.
That was the outcome of the Ackermans Charity Fun day held in Stellenbosch recently, hosted by Idols South Africa's Gift Gwe, radio personalities Irma G, Geri Olwagen and Tim Thabethe, and Mr SA 2012 first runner-up Zane Maqetuka.

This Ackermans corporate social event was held in aid of the Heaven's Nest Child Care and Recreation Centre in Eersterivier and the Ark Christian School in Ottery, and attended by Ackermans staff, their families and media representatives. Each of the charities received a donation of R12 500 from Ackermans' head of CSI, Geraldene du Toit, who thanked both charities for being part of the day and adding to the fun.

Children from the charities were divided into teams competing against each other in tugs of war, sack races and obstacles courses, spurred on by their celebrity team leaders.

After a tight battle, Ackermans MD Sean Cardinaal declared all teams equal and handed out medals to everyone. He said the day was a celebration of all things that children love and enjoy, but don't always get a chance to experience.

"Part of our businesses' purpose is to bring value to life and today is all about bringing value to the lives of the communities in which we operate. Kids are synonymous with Ackermans. As a business, we 'get' kids, and understand the joys, complexities and challenges they bring," he said.

"That's why we work very hard to bring the best value to our customers. Because when you pay less at Ackermans, kids get more of the good stuff."

This Charity Fun Day was part of the retailer's corporate social investment initiative called Ububele, which translates as "kindness and generosity" in isiXhosa. Through its volunteering programme, Ackermans has supported 39 charities over a two-year period and plans to reach out to a further 41 this year, specifically those that focus on kids and moms. The retailer will continue to support other charities by donating stock through its stores. Last year Ackermans contributed R4,9 million worth of stock.

Geri Olwagen, DJ at Good Hope FM, afterwards thanked the organisers for the opportunity to be part of the event, and said she had had a blast. This was echoed by Irma G from Heart104.9, who promised to do it again soon as it was "super fun". Mr SA runner-up Zane Maqetuka labeled it a great event, and said he loved the setup and execution, especially that the event involved kids.
Ackermans' success story began in 1916 when Gus Ackerman opened the very first store in Wynberg, Cape Town, setting a benchmark for competitive prices that few could match. Today, with more than 380 outlets in Southern Africa, including Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana, the business continues to go from strength to strength. Ackermans' proud heritage was built by focusing on the things that matter most to our customers; namely affordability, fashion and durability.

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