Estoi Palace International Rotary Club (RCEPI) held its annual Presidential handover on 27th June at the Wine Bistro in Vilasol. 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 euros were raised. The filters were distributed in areas of great need such 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. Our annual “End Polio Now” bike ride raised 500 euros and with a 2 for 1 match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became 1500 euros.
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 5 from Estoi. One of those going is Margarida. This is a girl the Club has been helping since she was 9. 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 registered whose families are registered with the Food Bank.
Stands at the Christmas and Spring Sao Bras 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 Fatima in Olhao.
All in all a very successful year for the Club in helping the local and international community.
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 7 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”.