The overcast skies and inclement weather did nothing to dampen enthusiastic spirits at the annual Cape Leopard Trust luncheon held at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards on Saturday, 15 August.
Over 150 guests and friends gathered to celebrate the Trust’s 11th birthday with cuisine inspired by the Cederberg and the Atlantic Ocean that was crafted by four of South Africa’s top chefs.
In-house chef, Pieter de Jager, Michelle Theron from La Motte, Christo Pretorius from The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and Floris Smith from Bushmanskloof Wilderness Reserve worked tirelessly to create sumptuous dishes that were complemented with exquisite wines courtesy of Leopard’s Leap.
Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, who was also celebrating her birthday, teamed with Africa Melane to host the day’s events and entertain the crowd with a little help from talented local musician, James Stewart. Guests were also delighted by dance performances throughout the afternoon by internationally-acclaimed dance group, Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers and RIEL Band.
Lunch was followed by a lively auction led by Joey Burke, who happened to also be the auctioneer at the very first Cape Leopard Trust fundraiser. Joey enticed the crowd with an array of 16 incredible art, food, travel and fashion inspired auction lots. These included culinary experiences, a Virgin Limited Edition Wine and Wildlife Getaway, a Bill Harrop’s Balloon Safari, white diamond drop pave earrings, a 31kg Dylan Lewis leopard sculpture and a Leopard’s Leap 18L bottle of 2012 Culinaria Grand Vin.
Complete with video interludes showcasing the fantastic work achieved by the organisation, the day was an incredible reflection on how far the organisation has come in its efforts in predator conservation, research and environmental education. And the best news is that the auction raised over ZAR450,000 of much needed funding to ensure that our Cape leopards remain in good hands.
Missed the fundraiser luncheon? You can still support the Cape Leopard Trust by getting a MyPlanet card and adding the Cape Leopard Trust as a beneficiary!