Founded in 2006, Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC) was the first International Rotary Club in Portugal. Using English as the official language for meetings, the club soon attracted members from all over Europe and beyond. Last week at the Conrad Hotel, the club welcomed its first woman president, Uschi Kuhn.
On this occasion, outgoing president José Galamba and Uschi Kuhn organised an evening with entertainment provided throughout by local singer Vernon Delauney.
As a special surprise, Uschi had commissioned friends to compose a Rotary song with music that was performed by an enthusiastic group of ‘volunteers’ supported by AIRC member José Miceli on trumpet.
José Galamba reported on the year’s fundraising activities which benefitted many local charities, including UNIR, ASCA, Casa de Sonhos, Banco Alimentar, and the Rotary Youth Exchange Scheme.
An Ice Bucket Challenge organised by Uschi last year raised almost €1,000 which was used to provide a severely disabled sufferer of motor neurone disease with a specially adapted wheelchair which has changed her life.
The Rotary Cookery Competition encouraged young students from Algarve schools to show off their cooking skills with the finalists being given the opportunity to cook in a professional kitchen at the Conrad.
Uschi reported that the Rotary theme for this year is ‘Be a Gift to the World’. With this in mind, during her year she will be organising more fund-raising events.
The evening ended with dancing and a moving performance of Fado by José Galamba and his 89 year-old father Eugénio.
AIRC meets weekly at the Conrad Hotel.
Photo: Uschi Kuhn, president of Almancil International Rotary Club, with outgoing president José Galamba