SOULCYCLE FUNDRAISER IN NYC
Over 50 riders cycled like wild at SoulCycle in New York City last month sweating it out together to raise an incredible $8000 for Wild Tomorrow Fund.
The successful event was hosted by conservation couple, Jessica Masters Lombard and Rikus Lombard. The couple's love story started on safari when New Yorker, Jessica, took a last minute trip to South Africa. After a visit to Cape Town she visited the stunning andBeyond Kirkman's Camp. It was to change her life forever. Not only did Jessica fall in love with this special part of Africa, she also fell in love with her South African safari guide, Rikus Lombard.
After three and a half years of long-distance dating, and many joint trips across the African continent, Rikus and Jess tied the knot last September in New York. They now live in Astoria, Queens.
Together, Jessica and Rikus are committed to helping the wildlife and wild spaces of South Africa that were such a special part of them falling in love with each other.
Click on the image above to scroll through photos from the event.
"You come home from Africa & safari with a much deeper appreciation for the planet, wilderness and most of all wildlife," said Jessica. "Our planet's wildlife is becoming more and more threatened by the day and we cannot for one second imagine our children not being able to see an elephant or rhino in its wild environment yet that may become a reality if we don't come together and change the trajectory that the planet is on."
With this motivation in mind, Jessica decided to host a fundraiser for Wild Tomorrow Fund at SoulCycle, one of her favorite workout spots. Riders were able to choose their seats based on a ladder of donation levels. Rides started at $100 to support rangers. Donations for this ride will be used to equip rangers with uniforms and boots. Next up were the Impala riders who donated $150 to support the re-introduction of an impala to Wild Tomorrow Fund's conservancy, Ukuwela. Then there were the zebra riders whose donation of $300 will fund the introduction of a zebra (which they will have the pleasure of naming). And finally, the giraffe riders. Riders at this level donated $800 which will pay for the reintroduction of one of these amazing animals to Ukuwela!
Rikus and Jessica have decided to name their giraffe Ndzilo. "Its meaning, fire, is also symbolic to the birth of Ukuwela: fire often being necessary for the growth of new habitats in that part of the country," said Rikus. Reflecting on his personal commitment to protect African wildlife, Rikus spoke of the importance of habitat conservation. "I think the protection of habitat or wilderness areas is important because at the core of all of it, 'conservation of flora and fauna', it is the most important stepping stone for the protection of all species. Rhinos, elephants and other threatened species need a place to live and grow. It is important for us and the public to raise awareness to individual causes like rhino poaching but I think it is more important for the public to understand that by creating more wild spaces it gives these species an opportunity to flourish."
Thank you to Jessica, Rikus, and the other riders as well as those who donated to support this event!