Benefit concert for fire and rescue services

There has been an exciting proposal to turn the 27 December music concert into a fundraiser for the Friends of St. Francis Fire and Rescue fund. The fund has been set up to fund much needed equipment and training for the St Francis Bay Fire Services and the NSRI.

Chris Dowley of Premier Events says the concert offers a good platform for everyone in St Francis and the greater St Francis to come together to support rebuilding St Francis Bay and to make a meaningful contribution towards the Friends of St Francis initiative. And it’s no ordinary event either; the event is likely to have as its star attractions, Gareth Cliff (of the morning show on 5FM), Prime Circle (South Africa’s most popular selling musicians) and dance sensation Pascal & Pearce, among others. The proposal was made yesterday evening to several key members of the St Francis Bay community.  

All profits from the sale of tickets will be pledged to designated St Francis Bay community fund raising initiatives, such as the Friends of St Francis Fire & Rescue Fund, Chris says.  He believes this event can be:

* A wonderful fundraising initiative for the community of St Francis Bay;

*   An opportunity for the village to come together in one venue to celebrate the positive aspects of what St Francis has to offer with the message: “We will rebuild St Francis Bay together!”

 *  An opportunity to thank and acknowledge the heroes of the village and to further instil the village spirit among residents and holiday makers alike;

* An opportunity to auction off items on-stage as an additional fund raiser; and

* An opportunity to use audio visual infrastructure (large projector screens) to display the good images of St Francis Bay.

“Not only do we believe the event will be a fantastic fund raising initiative, but more importantly an event to cement the community’s loyalty to St Francis Bay,” Chris enthuses. “The entertainment on offer should also provide for a fun day out for the whole family. To this end we are currently in negotiations with the following celebrities/artists to perform at the event: Prime Circle, Pascal & Pearce, Gareth Cliff – 5FM and some local bands. There would be also be an opportunity for St Francis Bay to show case any of its own locally brewed talent.  (Suggestions to please be forwarded to SFB Tourism).

“In addition to the wonderful entertainment on offer, we will motivate having a short address by the Chairman of the Residents Association to residents and holiday makers reassuring them that St Francis Bay will get through this bump, an address from a representative of the Friends of St Francis Bay Fire & Rescue Initiative to highlight their cause and to relate how the funds raised will be applied and perhaps a representative from the Kouga Municipality to address the community.

Chris has also recommended Jo Brown as being a co-MC of the event, together with Gareth Cliff.

Chris has also mentioned other organisations and individuals in the community that can also be counted on to give the event exposure, such as St Francis Tourism, Kouga Tourism and the St Francis Chronicle to ensure the event is well marketed locally. “We intend positioning the event as a family (all-ages) event, with an early start, around 4 pm so as to include the entire St. Francis Bay community, young and old.”

“We will ensure full security, ablutions, medical services, jumping castles etc are all in place to ensure a safe and pleasant evening of fun. Families may bring a picnic basket and blanket to sit on and enjoy the entertainment on offer.”

Chris suggested that NSRI perhaps set up boerie stands with all proceeds from food sales all going to the NSRI.

“As the Ruins we will be happy to put up the guarantees to ensure a successful event with all tickets sold over and above this to go to one or a few of the St Francis Bay funds.”

“Tickets will cost R150 each for adults and R50 for children. In the unlikely event that the event does not attract1000 people required to break-even, The Ruins will undertake to absorb the loss as the organisers of the event.” Chris has already received commitment and strong support from key members of the community who will assist wherever possible to make this event a huge success. He says the event will be “a collective partnership between all stake-holders of St Francis.”

At time of writing he said  he had received the commitment of Tony Moore on behalf of the Residents Association of St Francis Bay, Marc May on behalf of the NSRI, Warren Manser of St Francis Tourism “as well as the commitments of Jo Brown and Louise Niven, plus Bev Mortimer from St Francis Chronicle who have all agreed to throw their weight (and their respective organisations) behind this event by partnering with The Ruins to make this a successful event for the village.”

Chris says: “Nevil Hulett has already rolled up his sleeves and made a positive contribution by ensuring the venue is drained from all water left from the recent floods and that the access road to the venue is easily accessible for large vehicles.” This is exactly the community spirit that is needed.

Chris confirms: “This will be an event staged by the community of St Francis, for the community of St Francis!  With a collective effort, we should be able to turn this event into a wonderful fundraiser for the village. By purchasing a ticket to the event, each and every one of us who is passionate about rebuilding St. Francis Bay, will be making a small but meaningful contribution to the beneficiaries of this event.”

The organisers and members of the community are starting from today to continue to secure the entertainment and to market the event. Tickets will be printed in small booklets in order to allow any locals who are interested in selling tickets to sign for a book and to start fundraising.

Lastly Chris has suggested the village contemplate the idea of a ‘Pledge Board’ to be erected at the Disaster Management Centre with the names of all people, who purchase a ticket to the event, listed on the board. “We believe this will be effective in further instilling a sense of community spirit and acknowledging everyone who attends for their contribution towards rebuilding St Francis. It’s an idea we would like to leave to the village to decide on, this is your event. ”

The organisers have welcomed any further ideas or suggestions the community may have in order to ensure this event is an evening to remember. Please direct feedback to either Warren Manser ( at St. Francis Tourism or Louise Niven ( and Jo Brown ( at Friends of St Francis, or Bev on

Press release written and edited by Chris Dowley and Bev Mortimer

All articles edited or written, all photos taken plus all adverts designed by the Editor and printed in the St Francis Chronicle are protected by the law of Copyright ©.  Reproduction or copying of any part of the contents of this newspaper and its concept and design can only be done with the Editor’s written permission.


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