Tuesday, 19 September 2017
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AmbulanceLagosPatAllenA presentation last Sunday morning at the Lagos Bombeiros station marked the official handing of a shiny new ambulance, purchased with funds raised from the community by afpop’s western Algarve Area Events Organiser, Pat Allen.  

Spurred on by the considerable effort of the foreign community, Lagos Council dipped into its reserves and donated a second ambulance costing €60,000 (see picture below).

Some of the fire service’s ambulances were so old that the repair bills over the next two years were budgeted at €40,000 -  the cost of a new vehicle.

Pat Allen’s fundraising drive gathered donations from a Magical Musical Walk, Tip a Tipple, an Auction run by Portugal Property, Bingo nights, Race nights, straightforward donations, raffles, a concert by the Western Algarve Community Choir, coffee mornings and small change collections throughout last year.  

The biggest contributions came from the Boa Vista Golf Club team with the Tomorrow magazine giving free monthly publicity until the target of €20,000 was reached - and then exceeded.

In fact, the total raised from these fundraising activities was €33,000 and, with the Bombeiros contributing the balance from local supporters and from existing funds, there was enough money for the much needed new ambulance.

At Sunday’s event, Sr Paulo Morgado, President of the Lagos Bombeiros association, Sr Paulo Ries, Commandante of BV Lagos, Sra Joaquina Matos President of Lagos Council and Padre Almeida, who kindly blessed the two ambulances, were joined by Pat Allen and many afpop members.

Mayor Joaquina Matos paid tribute to the British community in the Algarve for their generosity and dedication in raising such a large sum of money for such a great cause, and thanked Pat Allen especially as her role was instrumental in making this dream come true for the local fire service.

Sr Morgado and Sr Reis, on behalf of the Lagos Bombeiros, said they were totally delighted with the shiny new additions to the service’s fleet, particularly as the existing ambulances are well past their official shelf life.

There also was a donation by a local couple, Miguel and Sofia Lopes, whose baby son Salvador died after a fight with cancer. The Bombeiros benefitted from the funds donated to the Lopes family donated to help with their son's treatment.

The extraordinary generous total sum of €28,000 had been used to buy 16 specialist helmets and countless items of protective clothing and pairs of gloves that were urgently needed - all donated in the name of Salvador Lopes.

The importance of this type of community engagement cannot be overlooked. Over a hundred people attended the ceremony in support of the voluntary work undertaken by Pat Allen and her collaborators.

Pat Allen said a few words and spoke in Portuguese, to the delight of all, before being presented with a bouquet of flowers and a framed certificate of acknowledgement and thanks by the Bombeiros.