Photo: Bruno Filipe Pires/Open Media

Quinta do Lago Golf Club members raise €62,000 for firefighters

A cheque worth €62,000 has been donated by members of Quinta do Lago Golf Club to “Associação para Alerta de Incêndio Florestal”, the Algarve’s forest fire alert association.

The association, which uses Facebook as a tool to report fires as soon as they break out and keep people updated, will be using the money to repair and buy new firefighting uniforms for brigades in the Algarve and Lower Alentejo.

The donation follows the amazing work carried out by local firefighters last month to tackle the wildfire which broke out in Faro and spread to the resort, damaging properties and threatening people’s homes.

“July 13, 2022 is one that many Quinta do Lago residents will remember for a long time to come,” said the club in a statement.

“There was a hot easterly wind blowing and, as dawn broke, there was a very visible plume of smoke rising from the direction of Faro. Within hours, this had turned into an uncontrollable forest fire that threatened the lives and properties of everyone in the area,” it added.

Debby Burton and Barbara Leitch from Alerta receive the cheque for €62,000 from Club Captains Alan and Lesley Henderson
Debby Burton and Barbara Leitch from Alerta receive the cheque for €62,000 from Club Captains Alan and Lesley Henderson

“The situation remained tense for a number of days, until all the fires were under control. In the end, it was thanks to the work of all the emergency services but especially of the firemen from across the Algarve that no lives were lost and property damage was kept to a minimum,” the club also said.

The board of Quinta do Lago Golf Club met soon after to discuss a possible donation to fire brigades.

“Aware of a willingness in the community to show appreciation to the firemen who had literally been sleeping on the roadside only days before, the club immediately agreed to donate an initial amount from club funds.”

The choice of Associação Alerta came down to a happy coincidence, the club explained.

“At the very moment the meeting was ending, Barbara Leitch (organiser of the Loulé area of Associação Alerta de Incêndio Florestal) happened to be distributing flyers in Quinta do lago and sat down with Club Manager Mark Foot.

“This was exactly the type of organisation the club was looking for to donate to. After receiving further information from the association founder, Debby Burton, the club decided to make an appeal to all members asking for donations,” said the club.

“Understanding that many members would have already made contributions to the fire services by other means, Club Manager Mark Foot was amazed that within 48 hours of the email being sent, over €20,000 was pledged, including two donations of €5,000 each from individual members,” it said.

By the time the appeal ended, a total of €62,000 had been raised.

The cheque was handed to Debby Burton and Barbara Leicht by Club Captains Alan and Lesley Henderson on Friday, August 5.

“It was definitely unexpected,” Debby told the Resident. “We had been in communication with them for some time, but how much was actually raised was quite a surprise!”

The association has also received around €13,000 additional donations, bringing the total tally up to €75,000 to spend on individual protection equipment for firefighters.

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com