And the winners are…

During December 2015 we ran our first ever Cute Baby Grand Finale. The idea sprang to mind in the early start-up phase of Cute Baby back in August 2014. Wouldn’t it be cool, we thought, to have another competition, which was exclusive (only those that had already won would be able to take part) and votes to win would be free.

And so began the journey. And like all journeys we knew where we wanted to end up, how we planned to get there but we had no idea what to expect along the way.

We found an awesome company in the US who runs competitions like this all the time so we followed them for a while to make sure they knew the way. They did. So we climbed on board.


And we’re live!

We launched the Grand Finale 2014 / 2015 voting page in early December with very clear rules.  One rule in particular, held the competition together; you could only vote ONCE per day from a registered email address. After about two weeks into the competition it became clear that we had some over enthusiastic voters who were rather ingenious in the email address handles created just for this occasion. Some examples included [email protected], [email protected] and my all time favourite [email protected]

So, the competition drew to a close and we were faced with the challenge of counting and verifying all the votes received from every single email address, fake or not. With the help of the company in the US, many many (many!) late nights it became apparent that the task was impossible.

There were thousands of email votes that could not be verified.

Who are the Wwinnerinners?

After a sleepless night, I emailed all the parents who were taking part the following morning to let them know the outcome; there would be no Grand Finale Winner.

Instead, the Cutie-Pies who were in the Top 3 spots, would have the grand prize of R2,500 plus the R500 voter prize divided equally amongst their chosen charity. Each charity would receive R1,000. And each Cutie-Pie would receive a R200 voucher for taking part.

Overall outcome and what we’ve  learned?

While the outcome wasn’t as expected, we understand that a better process needs to be put in place for next time. We won’t be holding another Cute Baby Grand Finale until such time we’re in a position to manage it better.

The silver lining is that we’ve been in touch with three amazing charities who are incredibly selfless in helping those in their community. We plan to support them on an on-going basis with the skills we have.

We challenge you to do the same.

Charity: Messiah Impacters

Mar_LubanziLocation: Cape Town

Contact: Melanie Francis 083 781 2091

Nominated by: Lubanzi Ngema (Winner March 2015)

Messiah Impacters ultimate goal is bridge the gap between poverty and education. It is our aim to facilitate positive change through our work with Women, Children, Youth and the Elderly to create equal opportunities through education and empowerment.

We use our influence to raise awareness and sensitize them to the impact violence has on women, children, families as well as the larger community.We build on our extensive community contacts for outreach, training, and character building and empowerment programmes.

Charity: Kidney Beanz Trust

Location: Johannesburg Jan_Callen

Contact: Megan Frye (011) 883 2244

Nominated by: Callen Phillips (Winner January 2015)

The KidneyBeanz Trust was established to provide comprehensive support services to children with life-threatening kidney disease who often experience great difficulty in living normal lives due to the tremendous impact that their illness has on them and their families. 

Since the inception of the trust in 2006, 57 children have been successfully transplanted and many more have been beneficiaries of the trust. Of the 57, one child has had a combined kidney and pancreas transplant and 6 children have had combined kidney and liver transplants.

Charity: Frida Hartley Shelter / Bethany Home

Location: JohannesburgJuly_Lucky

Contact: Cheryl Hlabane or Bridget Edwards 011 614 3245

Nominated by: Lucky Poane (Winner July 2015)

In 1923 Frida Hartley gave up her comfortable life in London and headed to Johannesburg, where she opened a shelter for destitute women, a solid one-storey brick building in Bellevue.

Ninety years later the Frida Hartley Shelter is still solid, standing in a quiet, jacaranda-lined street of modest houses and small blocks of flats. And its doors are still open to penniless and abandoned women, some of them pregnant, and their children. The home is specifically for destitute and homeless women; abused women and their children are taken in by its sister shelter, Bethany Home in nearby Bertrams.

Please support these charities in anyway you can. From clothes, to toys, to food anything is welcome and appreciated. Cash donations can also be made and each charity is a registered NPO.


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