With normal entries for the two-day mountain bike race having closed on Friday 26 August, the event – which includes the unique opportunity for participants to summit the famous Sani Pass by bicycle – has committed to donating the entry fees of the first ten late entries to Zoog Haynes’ organisation.

The entry fees from the first ten late entries ahead of this year's Fedauto Sani Dragon, in association with Mortimer Toyota, will be donated to the Lettie Love Fund. Greg Labuscagne Photography/ Gameplan Media

“We’re very excited to welcome Zoog and his Lettie Love Fund on board,” says co-race organiser, Spurgeon Flemmington.

“Through our ten late entries agreement, we hope to donate over R20 000 to his fantastic initiative.

“We will also create a ‘Pink Mile’ during the event that will see Zoog covering the post and rail fence at the Underberg Farmers Association’s Showgrounds in pink, to help create a bit of cancer awareness as well,” he adds.

Started as a means of raising funds during Haynes’ wife, Nikki ‘Lettie’ Haynes’ fight against cancer, the Lettie Love Fund has since grown into an organisation that provides a door-to-door transport service to currently disadvantaged cancer patients.

“The majority of cancer patients out there either don’t get to their treatments or get there in a compromised and undignified manner,” explains Haynes.

“By the provision of a personalised ‘lift club’ travelling daily into the townships and areas where these people are, we hope that we can get more people to treatment and we can eliminate one of the major headaches these folk have – access to transport and mobility.

“Nobody should have to fight more than their illness in order to get to a place where they can get care,” he adds.

The relationship between the Fedauto Sani Dragon and the Lettie Love Fund was one that had been bubbling under for some time however fellow Sani Dragon organiser, Eileen Downing’s young son’s recent diagnosis of leukaemia was the eventual trigger in the formalisation of the association.

“Despite never actually meeting properly before, Zoog and I had crossed paths on many occasions over the years and so I was well aware of the Lettie Love Fund and the incredible work it does,” says Flemmington.

“As a race, we’d been talking about developing a relationship with Zoog and the fund for a while, especially as the Lettie Love Fund is one our Fedauto Sani Dragon audience knows well.

“After Eileen’s son’s diagnosis three months ago, we realised that we’ve got to stop just talking about this partnership and start making it all happen.”

The race’s contribution is one the Lettie Love Fund is immensely grateful for and comes as a timely injection of funds ahead of the festive season – a period where the pinch on many people’s pocket sees contributions to the fund slow.

“We’re fired up to be involved in the Fedauto Sani Dragon!” says Haynes.

“Any opportunity we get to spread the Lettie Love Fund word we grab with both hands and to be able to cast the net that little bit wider in search of some funding is also massive for us.”

“Also, that amount from the ten late entries that the race has been unbelievable in agreeing to donate to our cause will keep us going for approximately three months, which is massive for us, especially as we head towards Christmas!

“We really are very grateful for this incredible opportunity the guys at the Sani Dragon have given us.”

The 2016 Fedauto Sani Dragon in association with Mortimer Toyota takes place on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October. Entries can be submitted and more information found at www.sanidragon.co.za.