This LottoStar 947 Big September we have been changing the lives of deserving students one bursary at a time. This year, we are giving 4 deserving students each R250,000 in educational bursaries, and this past Friday we awarded our second winner, grade 12 student Erica Crook. Here is her story.
The request was sent in by a colleague of Erica’s mother at EuroLabs Woodmead, Claire Brink, who feels that the family deserves a break after a tough decade and that Erica, as an exemplary student, really deserves to get a further education.
A deserving student
A matric student at Johari Christian Academy in Benoni, Erica has an aggregate of 96% even though she has had to help bring in money for the family by working weekends and holidays at a coffee shop called Thyme and Thyme Again. Her mother, Lindy Crook, and three other sisters also work here.
A tough life
Lindy and her 4 daughters had to leave Cape Town with just the clothes on their back to start over in Johannesburg, and have been struggling to put food on the table ever since, the girls needing to help out on weekends and holidays to bring in some money for the family. Even though Erica has amazing potential and was provisionally accepted into The University of Cape Town (UCT), there was no way they would have been able to afford for her to go to university without some outside help, which is where we came in.
Giving the good news
947 called Claire at EuroLab and asked her to give Lindy the day off. They then called Susan, owner of Thyme and Thyme Again, to ask her to get Lindy to help out for the day by pretending that important people were going to be visiting regarding project development in the area. Lindy had to get permission from Claire to get the day off work to help out at Thyme and Thyme Again, but obviously, it was already secretly arranged.
Greg & Lucky from the 947 team along with LottoStar CEO Tasoulla Hadjigeorgiou and Maria Pavli from the LottoStar team headed to Benoni to give the good news.
947 set up their digital producer to sit at a table setting up cameras and audio equipment while pretending to be a photographer visiting various coffee shops for Coffee Day. Greg and Lucky had the job of pretending to be profiling Thyme and Thyme Again as a Hidden Gem. 947 had arranged for Susan to make sure Erica waited on the two and that Lindy was manager of the day. This gave Greg and Lucky time to ask Erica, a huge fan of the radio jocks, questions such as whether she was on school holidays, what she wanted to study and so on.
Drinks and food were ordered during this time, and when the bill came the team pretended there was an issue with the bill and they asked for the manager, which was Erica’s mom that day.
When she arrived at the table, they had her and Erica sit down to begin giving them the news, revealing that this was all staged and that the real reason they were there was to give Erica a LottoStar bursary to the value of R250 000. 947’s Digital Producer had been recording parts of the conversation.
It was a very emotional moment when mother and daughter discovered that Erica had won R250,000, tears flowing freely all around. A beautiful moment for a deserving young lady who has worked hard her whole life and still managed to make a success of her school career. Watch a video of the big moment, courtesy of YouTube:
There are 2 bursary winners left to be selected, so keep your fingers crossed if you've entered, you may just be our next winner!