Rotary Club celebrates 2009

With a challenging economy, it was difficult to predict how successful 2009 would be for the Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC).

However, the optimism of the AIRC board and its members was proved right with another great year.

During 2009, Almancil International Rotary held a full programme of events to raise funds: Race Night (1,200 euros), Sponsored Walk in aid of Bom Samaritano (more than 1,700 euros), charity Lunch at the home of a Rotarian (650 euros) and a truly tremendous Auction of Promises which alone raised over 5,000 euros.

Activities for the year ended with an Olde Tyme Music Hall where another 2,000 euros was raised. And at each Wednesday lunch meeting, the pig was passed around for feeding!

Sadly, during 2009 AIRC member Leonie Ferns-Hilliard died. Leonie was one of those exceptional people with energy and love for all she met.

To remember Leonie, the club celebrated her life with a Rotary lunch and following her request, Rotarians and friends made donations rather than sending flowers.

As a result, more than 2,000 euros was raised for Leonie’s favourite Rotary charity – Bom Samaritano children’s home in Alvor.

In the summer, the AIRC arranged for two Portuguese students, Patricia and Marco, to go to a Summer Camp in the UK.  When welcomed back at Faro airport, they exclaimed that their experience was ‘awesome’.

Rotary’s District Governor Mário Rebelo visited the club in November and the President, Paul Lantau, presented him with a cheque for  500 dollars for the Rotary International project End Polio Now. A Gala Dinner is planned for April next year to swell the coffers of this worthwhile cause.

The Almancil International Rotary Club is delighted with its successes this year, which have allowed for various donations, including a cheque for 4,000 euros for new playground flooring to Assoçiacão António Aleixo in Quarteira.

And the Club was also able to arrange for Father Christmas to make a surprise visit, with gifts for all the children, to the Bom  Samaritano during their Christmas concert.

It has been a good year for the AIRC, its members worked hard to ensure the Rotary motto of ‘Service Above Self’, but its success in 2009 would not have been possible without the support of friends and family who they thank unreservedly.

The AIRC meets each Wednesday at Restaurant Couleur France in Almancil at 1.30pm. For more information on the AIRC, please visit