Runner pounds 1,000km of pavement for charity
NGOs reveal money raised from headline-grabbing stunts is a drop in the ocean, but it’s the publicity that matters
While a casual jog is nothing to write home about, Durbanite Luc Quevauvilliers is on a mission to run every single street in the coastal city.
Underpinned by a sense of altruism, he plans to pound 900km of pavement for donations towards the Childhood Cancer Foundation (Choc).
The 35-year-old has already etched his way through the side streets and back alleys of Morningside and Umbilo.
Leading SA charities are insisting that when people put their bodies on the line, it’s the exposure – and not the bucks – that matters.
Quevauvilliers said he was inspired by an American runner who traversed the length of the States.
“The wheels got turning and I started figuring out how plausible this would be for me to do, because I’m always in search of some kind of epic adventure, and I thought, why can’t that adventure be found in the streets of my home city I love so much?” he said.
He added beyond the personal challenge, he wanted the kilometres to count for something.
“I would like to help out Choc to use any publicity I get for this to help them out because of all the amazing work they do for children with cancer.”
Joan van Niekerk, of Childline, said unorthodox fundraising drives accounted for less than 1% of their annual donations.
“They also take a lot of person power from the organisation concerned, which takes away from service delivery or means long hours beyond the normal working day,” she said.
“It is great to have someone in the public eye doing something to raise funds and in doing so, raising your public image,” she added.
The Sunflower Fund’s Traci Sassenberg echoed this, insisting crazy stunts for charity brought with them immeasurable value.
“The financial implications aside, the awareness and media value these crazy stunts create is immeasurable. Education and awareness are paramount to what we do,” she said.
The NSPCA’s Meg Wilson told Times Select their supporters had run marathons and climbed mountains to raise money for their cause.
“These people are vitally important to the NSPCA, not only in terms of fundraising but also in terms of engagement and relationship building with our supporters,” she said.
So the eclectic character will be a regular sight on Durban’s streets, avenues and crescents as he snakes through the city.
“I did some rough calculations, and the 90km² area has about 900km of roads in it, but my final distance will be higher than that because of dead-end roads that require backtracking, and routes will cross over at times,” he said.
“I started on 1 April and plan to have it all finished by the end of the year. I’m hoping I complete my chosen area early and can add a few more suburbs at the end.”