AIRC organises virtual Easter Bonnet parade

Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC) had organised a fun, ‘retro’ Easter fundraising event which included afternoon tea and an Easter Bonnet parade to be held at the Conrad Algarve Hotel. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, all social events had to be cancelled. However, the club members were determined to find ways to continue to support the local community.

Chairman of Community Services, Peter Hinze, learned of a fundraising initiative called ‘Helping Algarve’ which is working to raise funds to support the Algarve Biomedical Centre (ABC), a consortium formed by the University of the Algarve and the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA), which is providing testing and equipment for staff working closely with Covid-19 patients including ventilators which can be provided quickly where they are most needed.

The organisation has taken on a central coordinating role organising and quickly supplying protective clothing and other medical supplies and equipment to frontline medical staff and nursing homes.

It is a public entity commissioned by the government and, as such, is bound by a legal duty of transparency on where donations go and how they are invested.

AIRC Club President Mark Hulit said: “This is exactly the kind or organisation we needed to support. As a club, we do not have the information on the latest priorities and technical needs, but we want to help our community, and the ABC is uniquely positioned to get the needed resources in the right place at the right time. A ‘virtual appeal’ was immediately sent to all our members. Within four days, generous donations from members and a matching grant from the club resulted in a collective donation to the ABC of €3,670 with more donations expected to come in.”

Hulit went on to say: “Like everywhere around the world, the situation in our community is very serious, and our thoughts go out to all the individuals and families who are dealing with illness and loss. But during the Easter period, we also wanted to give thanks and celebrate all the efforts of the community and organisations like the ABC which is working so hard to support our wonderful medical professionals and volunteers across the Algarve who are caring for patients.

“At the club’s most recent virtual meeting, although we had to cancel our Easter Parade fundraiser, we took the opportunity to put on our Easter hats as a symbol of solidarity, thanks, and special recognition to all the medical teams and members of the community who are supporting each other. We were joined by local singer Vernon Delauney who gave us a rendition of ‘In Your Easter Bonnet’.”

AIRC encourages everyone to make a donation, big or small, via the ‘GoFundMe’ webpage set up by ‘Helping Algarve’ or by bank transfer.

Bank Transfers made from Portugal:
Name: Algarve Biomedical Centre
IBAN: PT50 0035 0303 0010 5008 130 31
Reference: “FTC” (your name)

For international transfers:
Reference: “FTC” (your name)
IBAN: PT50 0035 0303 0010 5008 130 31
BANK: Av. João XXl, no 63, 1000-300 LISBOA