More than R225 000 has been crowd-funded in less than a day after the devastating Greyton wildfire destroyed Lismore wine farm on Tuesday.
The fire, which started in a nearby nature reserve, is believed to have been started by children.
The fire engulfed Lismore less than 30 minutes after it started, destroying the home of well-known pioneering farmer and winemaker Samantha O’Keefe and her two children, 14-year-old Quinn and 16-year-old Keenan.
Once the fire started, O’Keefe attempted to drive into the blaze to rescue farmworkers and animals caught in it.
All staff members made it to safety, but two cats and a dog did not survive.
In order to help the family cover their immediate financial costs and rebuild the farm, a crowd-funding campaign was started on BackaBuddy.
“The campaign went live on December 18, 2019, and in less than 24 hours, more than R224 000 was raised towards the fundraising target of R500 000 with contributions from 130 donors both locally and abroad,” the family said.
Although the fire left them destitute, O’Keefe is certain Lismore will be returned to its former glory.
“We are humbled and overwhelmed by the generous support we have received from the Greyton community, previous patrons, as well as friends and strangers from South Africa and all over the world,” she said
Friend and campaign creator Floh Thiele praised O’Keefe for her commitment.
“This wonderful woman has overcome countless setbacks and immense challenges. Sam even recently became the sixth woman to be inducted into the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild. She has given her past and future to build her dream.
“Let’s hold hands and unite to help Sam rebuild her home, her farm, her life and everything else, which brought so much joy to enthusiastic fans of her magnificent wines.
“We appeal to anyone who has ever come in contact with this incredibly courageous and inspiring woman to reach out,” Thiele said.
Samantha O’Keefe with her children Quinn and Keenan. (Supplied)