A cardboard box of dog-eared (read: much-loved) paperbacks, with a handmade IN/OUT card filled out in neat handwriting, and tucked behind each front cover – that’s the memory the words ‘book club’ call up in my mind. Until the age of 10, I grew up in my grandparents’ home, and my paternal granny who we all called ‘Ma’ graciously hosted book club at the Witbank house I grew up in.
I was too young to understand that her book club was more than chatting about literary heroes and sipping glasses of Old Brown Sherry. It was a collection of like-minded, spirited women who had kicked off their office heels and untied their apron strings once a month, and gathered in one place to do what women do best – share and care.
It’s with this in mind that I present to you: Third Thursday. There’s no cardboard box of books when these ladies meet (you guessed it) on the third Thursday of every month. Instead this loose-knit group of women friends from all walks of life gather with the purpose of adding a little sunshine, by organising fund-raising events for community-based projects and causes.
They must be an influential bunch of babes, because in the eight years they’ve been doing this, they’ve roped in Ruda Landman, Debora Patta, Deshun Deysel, Graeme Codrington, Gill Marcus, Jenny Crwys-Williams and Clive Simpkins as guest speakers and MCs at their swish events. For free; nothing… nada!
*This is my impressed face*
But surely the Third Thursday gals have outdone themselves this year? They’ve gotten HELEN ZILLE in big shouty capitals to fly into Jo’burg, give a speech and nibble flapjacks with us, and then fly straight back to Cape Town afterwards! And Ma’am Zille won’t be bringing her political soap box along; Helen (can I call her that) is going to chatting to us as a woman, a mother…
*I like to picture her with her feet up, and with cucumber slices and a mud pack on*
The event is happening in Johannesburg at Sandton Hilton on Saturday 14 July from 7am SHARP (in Ms Zille’s words). Tickets cost R250pp and include a delicious breakfast, tea, coffee and the chance to ambush Helen and ask for her signature on a serviette.
But I can’t promise a SWAT team won’t rappel down from the ceiling if you brandish your Koki pen too threateningly!
The charity to benefit is the Mthimkhulu Daycare Centre (www.mthimkhulu.org) in Soweto. It’s a centre, run by volunteers mostly, that offers day-care for severely mentally handicapped children, so that their parents can leave them in safe custody for the day in order to earn a living.
This is a cause that’s close to my heart.
The lionhearts of Mthimkhulu are in desperate need of a vehicle to get to the centre and back. As you can imagine, wheelchairs and taxis are not a great combo! A suitable, wheelchair-friendly vehicle will cost in the region of R450 000. That’s what your R250 smackeroos are helping to purchase, m’kay?
At the breakfast, there will be prizes up for grabs like high tea for four from Clico Boutique Hotel in Rosebank worth R800, and a two-night getaway from the Valley Lodge in the Magaliesberg, worth R10 000. There will also be an American auction, where you pay a flat fee to take part (say R50), then you are eliminated by showing either heads or tails – so hands on your head, or hands on your bum! Sounds hilarious and I’d pay R250 just to see Helen Zille take part!
Book a space for your booty by emailing Helen Pournara on firstname.lastname@example.org.