Socially distanced golfers

Covid-safe golf tournament raises €4,350 for hunger-stricken families

Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC) has in November for the past two years organised a golf tournament in order to raise funds for local charities; primarily the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Association based in Vila Sol, Vilamoura.

Due to the current pandemic, it was thought not possible this year and the charity as well as other charities would lose out. However, thanks to the tenacity of Rotarians John Slatter, Bill Browne and their team – and strictly following Covid-19 rules – the tournament went ahead last week.

A total of 64 golfers took part in the event at the Dom Pedro Old Course in Vilamoura, which, together with a raffle, raised €4,350. In previous years, the tournament was followed by a grand fundraising dinner attended by the golfers, their partners and friends. Unfortunately this year that was not possible.

Nevertheless, the amount raised was still substantial.

It was decided to use some of the funds, in addition to funds already raised by the club, to support Refood in Almancil, an organisation dedicated to providing food parcels for people in crisis. Prior to the Covid situation, this organisation was assisting around 50 families each week. Currently, they are donating boxes of food to 250 people. They receive donations of food from various local businesses and supermarkets.

Peter Hinze, AIRC Chair of Community Services, has been liaising with Alexandra Brito, the Refood coordinator, to see how best the club can help them. It was decided to set aside a weekly sum which Refood can use to purchase items of food which are not ordinarily donated.

Whilst the organisation can generally provide food to all the families that need it, they rely on volunteers to collect the food from supermarkets, pack it into boxes and distribute it to the families who go to the centre in the evening. They currently distribute food on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

With more volunteers, they could add another one or two more days. Anyone wishing to help with a donation or to volunteer can contact the organisation here

In addition to Refood, the Associação Social e Cultural de Almancil (known locally as ASCA) is also providing food on a daily basis to families in need and the club has agreed to also supplement their funds for the purchase of food.

“We are so lucky,” said AIRC President Uschi Kuhn. “We don’t know what it’s like to go hungry. The current crisis has meant many more families are suffering food shortages through no fault of their own. We have to do our part.

“As well as other charities, our fundraising activities have been severely curtailed this year. I’m so grateful to John and Alan and their team who worked so hard under difficult circumstances to make the tournament such a success and the assistance of our generous sponsors the Dom Pedro Hotels Group, Netassis Lda Loulé and St James’s Global. We all hope and pray that by November next year, the Covid nightmare will be behind us, families will be in a better position and we can hold the golf event once again and raise even more money for local charities.”