Rotary clubs around the world change their presidents at the end of June/ beginning of July each year. Almancil International Rotary Club is no exception and on Wednesday 26th June, at a special dinner held at the Conrad Hotel, President Brian Giles handed over his chain of office to new president, Mark Hulit.
The main purpose of the club is to raise funds to help disadvantaged people in the area. Funds raised during the last Rotary year amounted to more than 13,000 Euros. Outgoing president Brian opened the meeting and began by outlining the many local organisations that the club has helped during the past Rotary year which included the Association for Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease in Quarteira which, thanks to funds raised at a successful golf event in November received electrically operated chairs and kitchen and bathroom equipment. Local students also painted a cheerful mural in the garden. APAV, a voluntary association which supports victims of crime, received electrical items and toiletries with funds raised at the club's International Women's Day lunch held earlier this year.
The club has for a number of years been involved with a group of autistic children at Escola EB 2/3 Dr Antonio de Sousa Agostinho in Almancil with surfing lessons and foot golf both of which have not only been hugely enjoyed by the youngsters but also improved their coordination and general well-being. Most recently dog therapy was introduced for these youngsters and this has also been great success. In addition, for the 5th year and with collaboration from the Conrad Hotel, the club sponsored a cookery competition with the participation of students from local schools.
New president Mark Hulit thanked Brian for his service during the year. He stated that "for the upcoming year, our key focus will continue to be helping the youth in Almancil and Quarteira with a variety of innovative programmes to help autistic children, children from underprivileged backgrounds, and offering special international learning opportunities via Rotary International's summer camp experiences. We will also continue to support victims of domestic violence and older people coping with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Founded in 2006 with a handful of members, we now have a vibrant club with a membership of 37 - the largest international Rotary club in the Algarve.
Within our club, one of our key goals is to recruit new members, particularly younger professionals, who can help us to connect with and support our local community even more".
The club meets for lunch at the Conrad Hotel, Quinta do Lago on Wednesdays at 1:00pm with the exception of the first Wednesday in each month when it meets for dinner at 7:00pm. If anyone is interested they are welcome to contact Peter by email to email@example.com to make arrangements to come along to meetings without commitment.