the cows - moo are they

the cows cow

The Cows - Udderly committed to FUNdraising

In 2008 The Cows, which are a fundraising arm of CHOC, started out as a group of eight people riding the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge to raise funds. By 2012, a herd of 400 participated, generating R3.45 million! This won them the Innovative Fundraising Campaign award at Southern Africa’s inaugural fundraising awards in Oct 2013. To date the ever-growing herd has raised over R17 million for CHOC!

A full calendar of events leaves little time for grazing. For information on upcoming COW events or to become one of these intrepid fundraisers visit their website or email

Overall the proceeds raised by the Cows in the 2013/ 2014 financial year have supported: the CHOC Bergvliet House in Cape Town, where bone marrow transplant patients are housed for up to nine months because of the risk of infection, the new CHOC House in East London, and social work support in three provinces, amongst other projects.

Some Cows take themselves to the limit of endurance. Roberto Riccardi completed his 9th Ironman in Port Elizabeth! Since 2012, Andre van Soelen has completed 11 events in the full cow suit, including Ironman Austria at the end of June. The 2013 Freedom Trail Cow Erik Tollner did a self-supported bike ride from Cape Town to Tankwa in the Karoo, travelling a distance of around 860kms, which could be a first.

COWS are people with a passion for life who want to make a difference. Their motivation for what they do can be expressed in some idiosyncratic ways!

Early bird entrants in the 947 Cycle Challenge were asked by the race office to explain why they chose to ride for The Cows. Here is a moootiful response: “Udderly easy to think of reasons… The awe-inspiring sight of a herd of bovine inspired athletes quivering with passion dressed in cow suits, udders flapping in the wind, cannot be adequately described in mortal languages. “LupDujHomwIj lubuy'moH gharghmey,” in Klingon, says it best. You do not have to be mad to be a cow, though it certainly helps in understanding the rest of the herd, which will then make your udders feel warm and fuzzy. The expansion of herd like activities from cycling to trail running, Ironman and mountaineering shows that Cows do not shrug away from a challenge. We do not do it because it’s easy, we do it because it is hard.

The principal of "harass without shame" in fundraising, has led to the successful completion of projects and improvements at hospitals across our nation together with accommodation (not milk sheds) and social workers (not actual cows) support to the brave calves in their treatment and recovery. Transport is also provided (though bicycles are by far the herd's and patients' preferred mode of transport) – vans or similar is preferred by the less adventurous (parents and doctors).

Yours in Udderly Cowness

Johnny Strydom

P.S. LupDujHomwIj lubuy'moH gharghmey - My Hovercraft is full of eels”

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