Outgoing President Shirley Dunne reflected on “a fantastic year” for the Estoi Palace International Rotary Club
Estoi Palace International Rotary Club (RCEPI) held its annual Presidential handover on June 27 at the Wine Bistro in Vila Sol, Quarteira. After the flag ceremony and introductions, 40 guests enjoyed “an excellent meal provided by Ricardo and Lucy together with their fantastic team”.
Outgoing President Shirley Dunne reflected on what “a fantastic year the Club had experienced. By far the largest project undertaken was sending water filters to the Ukraine. The original target of sending 10,000 filters doubled to 20,000 as almost €300,000 were raised. The filters were distributed in areas of great need such as Kherson where the dam was bombed.”
On the international front also, Shelterboxes were sent to Pakistan, Turkey and Syria, following the devastating earthquakes and floods there.
A key project of Rotary International is the worldwide eradication of polio. The annual “End Polio Now” bike ride raised €500 and with a ‘2 for 1 match’ from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became €1,500.
Locally, RCEPI continued to support the local school by giving 5th grade students English/Portuguese dictionaries and arranging career talks.
Summer Camps have been organised for 25 students including five from Estoi. One of those going is Margarida. This is a girl the Club has been helping since she was nine. Born with a congenital hip disorder which kept her in a wheelchair, RCEPI collected funds to enable her to have two operations when she was 15. These operations have enabled her to walk. She is now at the Faro University and the Club is funding her tuition fees.
RCEPI has been working closely with the Estoi Casa do Povo for years. The Club augments the monthly Faro Food Bank parcels with milk and olive oil. We also arrange Christmas gifts for the children whose families are registered with the Food Bank.
Stands at the Christmas and Spring São Brás markets raised funds for the Algarve Oncology Association.
A successful “White Night” raised funds to support vulnerable children through the Centro de Bem-Estar Social N.S. de Fátima in Olhão.
“All in all, a very successful year for the Club in helping the local and international community,” said RCEPI in a press statement.
Shirley handed the chain of office over to incoming President Richard Thorpe. Richard, a UK national, spent the first part of his career working for a major bank followed by life as a self-employed business consultant specializing in business process engineering in telecoms, banking, health insurance and local government. He is married with four children and six grandchildren and is proud to have family connections with seven different countries.
Asked about his priorities for the forthcoming Rotary year, he said: “For our Rotary club in Estoi to continue to expand upon its amazing work, we need to attract new and active members who share our values and are prepared to give back a little to those less fortunate than ourselves. This is my focus for the coming year.”