Getting tuned into Christmas.jpg

Getting tuned into Christmas

THE SMASH HIT Do they know it’s Christmas? was immortalised by Band Aid in 1984. Over 20 years on how true is that of the plight of some children here in the Algarve?

It’s difficult to come to terms with, but many children in this region will spend Christmas outside the family unit and many more at home will not enjoy the true spirit of Christmas. So, how can readers help?

The Rotary Clube de Silves is donning its Christmas attire and pledging its members to raising funds for two local care homes in Alvor and Portimão.

Both admit children from the Silves, Lagoa, Portimão, Ferragudo and Lagos areas, who have experienced trauma in the home.

The club is also working closely with the Associação de Solidariedade com as Crianças Carenciadas do Algarve (ACCA), a Portuguese registered charity for children in need in the Algarve to provide Christmas presents for children who, although living in their own family environments will not be enjoying Christmas due to the financial constraints on their parents.

Over the past two years, the Rotary Club de Silves has, with the support of readers of The Resident and the Portuguese, raised thousands of euros for the bombeiros and the old people’s home at São Marco da Serra, but the event on Saturday, December 16, is dedicated to bringing joy to hundreds of children, aged from babies to 16-year-olds.

On Saturday, December 16, the club is holding a Jazz by Candlelight night at the Vale da Pinta Golf Club, part of the Carvoeiro Golfe complex, to raise at least 1,500 euros to realise the dream of Christmas for local children.

That’s not all, Santa will be making a special appearance during the evening. However, the difference will be that, upon arrival, his sack will be empty. His brief will be to collect from those in attendance presents, which will be distributed to children at the two homes.

Presents should be labelled by gender and age for ease of distribution.

They can take different forms, toys or games for the younger children and clothes, games or video games for those over eight years.

The event, a five course dinner, complete with Jazz from the New Orleans Jazz Band, is on offer at only 25 euros per head, including wine and mineral water. Tickets are limited to 100 on a first-come-first-served basis. The usual 50/50 raffle, together with a brief auction of golf vouchers and works of art will complete the evening.

For those who cannot attend, but would like to help, presents, which should be of new toys or clothes, can be left at The Resident office in Lagoa.

Take them to reception marked for Rotary Clube de Silves and be sure to indicate who the present is designed for (gender and age). New clothes are particularly requested, as the children often receive hand-me-downs.

Tickets are now on sale for the event and can be obtained by telephoning Rotarian Herbert Chatters (Club Treasurer) on 282 381 508 or 961 122 054.

This is your opportunity to let them know it’s Christmas and start the festive season with a warm feeling that your efforts will introduce Christmas into the lives of many children.

Already joining in the spirit of Christmas are several local companies who have sponsored the event, ensuring that the fund-raising is off to a winning start.

Thanks go to The Resident; Carrefour; Vila Castelo Lda, Ferragudo; GlobalTalk Serviços de Telecomunicações, Lda, Viveiros Duarte e Jardins, Lagoa and Victor Picardo.

Noddy Holder and Slade sang about it in 1973 — Merry Christmas Everybody. Here in 2006, we all have an opportunity to turn these sentiments into reality.

Make the call and receive your tickets — it will make all the difference this Christmas.