Press Releases



The rotary clubs of Estoi Palace International and Olhao together with the Alliance Française held their third  very successful White Night Dinner on the 3rd of June at historic Faro Catering College which was formerly a 17th century convent.

230 guests came along, all dressed in white, to enjoy the evening bringing their own food and table decorations.  Entertainment was provided by the ukulele band Rattle ´n´ Hum,  Clube de Danças João de Feus who performed various oriental dances  and Cristina Afonso, a contestant on The Voice.  Cristina sang a selection of Portuguese and international songs whilst playing her piano and encouraging the audience to get up and dance.

The event raised 5300 euros and the proceeds will go to support SPEM, Sociedade Portuguesa de Esclorese Multipla, a national charity founded in 1984, providing support for multiple sclerosis sufferers and their families, and other Rotary charities. 

For further information on any of the organisations involved in the event please  contact   




 RE-FOOD Faro March 2017

Estoi Palace International Rotary Club  and Re-Food Faro volunteered together as part of a special International Service event on March 28th, 2017.   During the  International Week of Service,  held from March 25th to 31st, service clubs around the world were encouraged to partner together to make a bigger impact.

This service event allowed men and women to learn more about the respective work of Rotary Club of Estoi and of Re-Food in Faro, and how they are involved in their community. The project was hosted on Tuesday March 28th evening at the  Re-Food Operation Center located in the middle of Faro. 

Members of both associations jointly collected food from partner restaurants. Then they also re-packed the different meals available in to  various sizes of boxes, according to the composition of the families, who later came to collect them.

It was not the first time that both associations met. In 2016 Rotary Club participated in the opening of this new center in Algarve, and donated to Re-food four refrigerators which would help keeping safe the non-distributed meals until the following day. VisitatRefood2803

This International week of service was an opportunity to reinforce the relations between the two associations, and to better understand their daily work, when in direct contact with the local community.

To learn more about the Rotary club Estoi International Palace, contact The club meets each Tuesday for  lunch at Estoi Palace Pousada

Re-food in Faro is always looking for more volunteers to help distributing food to the families. A minimum of 2 hours per week is requested. Contact



A Centennial Celebration Concert was organized by the Rotary Club of  Estoi Palace International to celebrate 100 years of the Rotary Foundation.  “We should not live for ourselves alone, but for the joy in doing good for others”

This is the motto of the Rotary Foundation.  Formed 100 years ago with a donation of 26 US dollars.  Since then Foundation has donated over 3 billion dollars worldwide to improve the lives of the underprivileged.  The Algarve has benefitted from its generosity as the Foundation helped Rotary Club Estoi Palace purchase a refrigerated truck for the Faro Food Bank and a fully equipped new ambulance for the Sao Bras Bombeiros.

3 local choirs took part in this charity event held at Lethes Theatre in Faro on the 20th of AprilThe São Lourenço Singers who are a choir with around 35 members from various European countries.  Joyce Whitelaw, the choir’s Scottish director, arranger and composer, creates all the vocal harmonies and musical arrangements tailored to the interests and abilities of the singers.

Bella A Cappella sing Barbershop a a style of unaccompanied vocal singing, characterized by four-part chords for every melody note: Lead – Tenor – Baritone – Bass.  They are an international mixed gender group who love to sing.  They currently have 15 members and have room to expand if anyone is interested in joining them.  Their musical director is Isabel Matos who has master's degree in Music Psychology (2005) and a PhD in Education Sciences and teaches in Olhao.

The Coro dos Amigos do Museu choir was founded in 2006 in São Brás de Alportel as an international classical .The choir has a wide repertoire of songs in many different languages, reflecting the cosmopolitan membership, which is drawn from at least 7 different countries. Their musical director is Antonio de Jesus the co-founder of the Grupo Coral Ossónoba in 1980 and also a conductor of the Coro da Sé Catedral of Faro for many years.

The 3 choirs provided an excellent evening’s quality entertainment performing a diverse repertoire of songs enthusiastically received by the audience. The Portuguese finale song “Sorriso” was written especially for the occasion by Olhao based poet Maria Goreti  Ferreira with the melody and choral arrangement provided by Joyce Whitelaw, Musical Director of the Sao Lourenco singers.  The final song Heal the World by Michael Jackson reflected the aims of the Rotary Foundation and seemed particularly appropriate in these troubled times.  In the region of 1200 euros was raised which will be used to support Rotary charities.

The audience received a complimentary glass of pink champagne on arrival sponsored by About Wine, a boutique wine shop in Faro run by a young couple, Luis and Alexandra who are passionate about wine.

Other sponsors of the event were IBC Security,, The Printshop,, Cardoso Drain Cleaning, and Shirley Dunne Villa Management,

For further information on RC Estoi Palace International and the work we do please contact



santaclaus_20170104.JPGPai Natal - Casa do Povo

Estoi Palace International Rotary Club (RCEPI) were delighted to welcome Pai Natal and his helper Mrs Klaus to the monthly food distribution at Estoi Casa do Povo to those familes registered with the Faro Food Bank.   Since 2009 RCEPI has supplied around 450 litres of long life milk per month to supplement the food packs from the Food Bank.   To date the Club has given over 40000 litres of milk at a cost of around 18.000 euros.  The Club’s Quiz Nights help to fund this.  On Thursday the 15th of December at the last distribution of the year Pai Natal and his helper came along to present the children with gifts donated by the Club.kids1_20170104.jpg

On Saturday the 17th, RCEPI  again supported the Casa do Povo annual Christmas party for the underprivileged children in the community.  62 children attended and the Club provided food and drinks for them together with face painting which they enjoyed very much.  The Casa do Povo had arranged  folkloric and karate displays and the highlight of the day was when Pai Natal and Mrs. Klaus returned to distribute gold chocolate coins supplied by RCEPI  to the children together with a gift arranged by the Casa do Povo administration.

A good time was had by all and RCEPI were delighted to be able to help the local community in this as they have for the last 8 years. 

For further information on  RCEPI contact,   

Rotary Club Estoi Palace International



Wine Tasting

 Wine Tasting Evening

The mission of the Rotary Club Estoi Palace International (RCEPI) is to provide service to others particularly in the local community, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace.

To ‘Tell our story’, promote Rotary and increase our Membership, RCEPI held a wine tasting event at  the About Wine Garrafeira in Faro.

20 people attended to talk about Rotary and how it can help in the community.  For example RCEPI have been instrumental in the provision of a refrigerated truck for the Faro Food Bank and a fully equipped ambulance for the Sao Bras Bombeiros.   President Jim Ditheridge spoke about what Rotary actually is and our President Elect Manuela Robinson talked specifically about RCEPI and what it has done to help people locally and internationally.  Throughout the evening Luis from About Wine introduced a varied selection of wines accompanied by some excellent food. Wine Tasting

The evening was completed by new member, Maria Jose Pires, Deputy Director of the Algarve Oncology Association, who spoke about ‘a view of RCEPI from a new member´s perspective’,  a fascinating, powerful and emotional talk full of interest and reasons for joining Rotary and RCEPI, in particular.  "I have always wanted to help with a refugee crisis but never had the opportunity, being a member of Rotary changed that"

"Meeting a Rotary member in Greece was a wonderful experience, it felt like family"


"I feel so blessed to be part of Rotary and the opportunities it gives me to serve those less fortunate"


For further information on  Rotary Club Estoi Palace International contact,

  About Wine –




Rotary Club Estoi Palace International (RCEPI)  is once again supporting The Riding for the Disabled Algarve (A.E.D.A.) by sponsoring a young rider with Special Needs in training for the Special Olympics in Portugal.

Irina Rodrigues is 14 and was born with cerebral palsy and hemiplegia, affecting the right hand side of her body. For her regular physiotherapy sessions she is registered with the APPC  (Cerebral Palsy Association Faro).

Irina loves horses and started riding therapy at 8. This helps those with physical and mental disabilities to develop their motor skills, raise their self-esteem, increase sensory awareness, and concentration.  It also helps to promote physical perception, improve muscle tone and develop communication and cognitive skills. The main aim for Irina is to use the motivation she has through the riding to encourage her to study, and, improve her skills including learning another language, all to help in her adult life.

Irina joined the riding therapy sessions organised by AEDA  in February 2016 coming with the APPC to Pinetrees Riding Stables. She quickly moved to the Adapted Sport Riding Level. In the last two years AEDA and Pinetrees have worked with the AAPACDM, school for the mentally disabled, Faro, who are the promoters of Special Olympics Portugal.

Last May the 2nd Special Olympics Equitation for the South was held at Pinetrees enabling the Algarve riders to earn a place to compete at the June national event in Lisbon. The riders, representing a variety of schools for the disabled and riding schools in the Algarve picked up most of the top medals at the event!

Irina was the highest placed rider overall comparing first and second level classes. Her goal now is to pass on to the third level class and earn the chance to possibly represent Portugal abroad in Special Olympics, destined primarily for athletes with learning difficulties.

RCEPI are delighted to be able to contribute towards Irina’s ongoing therapy with a 300 euro sponsorship to enable her to train in orderto compete.  For further information on RC Estoi Palace International contact  and  for AEDA contact Rosemary Owen on 964027677.






End Polio Now Bike Ride - Sunday 20th November 2016

The Rotary Club of Estoi Palace International (RCEPI) organised a fundraising bike ride with Activity Algarve Bike Rides on Sunday 20th November.  Despite the inclement weather the enthusiastic group of riders cycled all the way up to the top of the Cerro Sao Miguel on a challenging 35 km round trip starting from Estoi Pousada and ending in front of the church in Estoi.  Well done to everyone who took part and contributed, donations and sponsorship raised a total of 1100 euros.

RCEPI was founded in 2008 and apart from helping the local community in numerous ways, the Club has also supported The Rotary Foundation´s  key project of eradicating polio from the planet, contributing over 10000 euros towards this.

Rotarians worldwide have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. For as little as $0.60, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.  As a result of this huge campaign India was declared Polio free in 2012. 

In 2007, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined the fight and from 2013  the Gates Foundation agreed to  match two-to-one, every dollar the Rotary Foundation commits to reduce the funding shortfall for polio eradication through to 2018.

With the 2 to 1 match from the Bill Gates Foundation our 1100 euros becomes a total of 3300 euros  towards the End Polio Now campaign.

Rotary Club Estoi Palace International, The Rotary Foundation and the Gates Foundation are determined not to let polio make a comeback.

For further information on RC Estoi Palace International contact,   and for  Activity Algarve Bike Rides contact,




Charity Golf Day at Monte Rei Golf & Country Club – Sunday 28th August

Estoi Palace International Rotary Club held its 4th Annual Charity Golf day at Monte Rei Golf and Country Club on Sunday 28th August.  66 players played an individual 18 hole stableford with Monte Rei providing its usual excellent service to all the participants including practice facilities and breakfast prior to the start.  During the round payers were able to participate in the ‘beat the pro’ competition on the 9th, 6 players were delighted to achieve this feat.

After play a welcome drink supplied by our main sponsor ‘About Wine’ was followed by lunch at the bar restaurant overlooking the golf course. Golfers were then able to enjoy the ‘Rory McIlroy’ washing machine challenge on the lawns in front of the restaurant, congratulations to winner Brendan Kelly with a score of 15 points 0024_20170104.jpg

Our prizes were provided by ‘About Wine’, a boutique wine shop in Faro, run by a young professional couple, Alexandra and Luis.  There was a silent auction with prizes including a week at vale do Lobo, a Fine Dining voucher, football memorabilia and a signed 18th hole flag by Tom Watson from his final open Championship appearance

Many happy golfers left at the end of the day and keen to participate again next year, many thanks to Monte Rei Golf and Country Club for their superb professionalism in helping our Rotary Club deliver another very successful event, a big thank you to our sponsors Avalon and ‘About Wine’ who delivered such excellent prizes for the event and to those who supported us in other ways including Fine Dining.  Congratulations to the winners Brendan Kelly and Zoe Pirrett and thanks to everyone one who participated and contributed to enable us to help the underprivileged in our community including Estoi Lar Community Centre,  Refood, Milk for the Faro Food Bank and the other projects we support.  For further information on

 Rotary Club Estoi Palace International contact,   About Wine – Avalon Funeral Plans  - Mobile 918707544.  Fine Dining –

White Night / Branco ao Jantar

White Night / Branco ao Jantar, 28th May 2016

Another very successful, White Night, Branco Ao Jantar, was organised by the Rotary Clubs of Estoi Palace International and Olhão together with the Alliance Française Algarve.

180 people attended the event held at the Faro Catering College. Everybody attending dresses in white and brings their own food and dresses their own table.

Guests were entertained during the evening by the São Bras Focloric Group, Fadista Raquel Peters, and Danças Salão by Escola João de Deus do Faro.

From the entry donation a fantastic 3800 euros was raised which will benefit ACAPO - Association for the Blind and Amblyopic in Portugal, which is a non-profit organisation, which aims to support the rights of its users and partners to facilitate their integration into the community and ReFood whose mission is to reduce human suffering from hunger by recovering food which would otherwise go to waste and distribute this excess directly to the people who really need it.


 For further information on these organisations contact RC Estoi Palace International at,   RC Olhão  at, Aliance Française Algarve at,  Refood at, and ACAPO at

White Night / Branco ao Jantar White Night / Branco ao Jantar White Night / Branco ao Jantar

White Night / Branco ao Jantar White Night / Branco ao Jantar White Night / Branco ao Jantar

For more pictures - Click Here -


Microfinancing in São Tome. RCEPI are delighted to be able to assist a local womens' cooperative expand their activities and improve their lives with a loan of 500 euros

For further information on this and  Estoi Rotary contact

Sao-Tome-01.jpg Sao-Tome-02.jpg Sao-Tome-03.jpg

Bob Dylan Tribute 20-05-2016

Bob Dylan Tribute 20th May 2016

On Friday night at the Cineteatro in São Bras  Rotary Club Estoi Palace International were delighted to host a Bob Dylan Tribute Concert to raise funds for the Centro Comunitario de Estoi to assist with food distribution to those in need and to assist other Rotarian charities. The first act was supported by 3 young singing girls from the Jovens and Natureza Associaco in Sao Bras ably assisted on two guitars by Joao Caetano and Paul Carter and on the piano by their singing teacher Irina.  Isabella, Lara and Maize treated us with their version of the Sound of Silence followed by an energetic solo from Isabella Robinson. This was followed by an enthusiastic group of musicians and singers calling themselves Rattle “N” Strum - performing for the first time in public.  A diverse group of 13 music friends convened by the Ukulele-playing Rotarian, Uwe Jonsson,  treated us to an eclectic mix of songs from different genres much enjoyed by the audience.

The main act of the evening performing the Bob Dylan Tribute were Boris Buggerov, Acoustic guitar, Harmonica and Vocals,  together with Guillermo Martins on Electric guitar. These very talented musicians entertained the audience with a mixture of Bob Dylan songs, old and new, to the highest standard.

The Master of Ceremonies,  Rotarian Kent Ringborn, kept the evening  moving along and RC Estoi Palace President Robin Wilson said a few words about Rotary and how it supports the local community.  Kent presented Natacha Nowak co founder and Vice President of the Jovens and Natureza Associacão with a bouquet to thank her for all the hard work and effort she had put into helping organise the  concert which raised over  1300 euros. Part of the raised funds will be confirmed to the Director of the Centre, Dora Luis, on the 14th of June, when she comes to the Estoi Palace Rotary Club to give a presentation about the work the Centre carries out.

Rotary Club Estoi Palace is very grateful to the Camara of Sao Bras for the use of  the venue and all  the help and support they gave us.  Our next fund raising event is to support Refood  on the 28th of May at the Catering Collegel in Faro.    

For further information on this and  Estoi Rotary contact

Bob Dylan Tribute 20-05-2016 Bob Dylan Tribute 20-05-2016 Bob Dylan Tribute 20-05-2016

Bob Dylan Tribute 20-05-2016 Bob Dylan Tribute 20-05-2016 Bob Dylan Tribute 20-05-2016



In April 2016 Rotary Club Estoi Palace decided to help a local charity

A Caritas, which operates out of São Brás de Alportel. Its mission is to help families in need and currently supports around 50 plus families in the area. Estoi Rotary Club has helped arrange 2 collections of food, clothing and other items that are urgently required by these families.

All the products collected were taken to the Caritas Headquarters on the 28th of March and the 5th of May and handed over to its President Sr. Rodrigues.

A third collection will be organised between the 1st and 23rd of June. If you would like to contribute pCaritasarticularly hygiene products for babies and adults, food (such as milk, olive oil, tinned sausages, cereals etc.), clothes, shoes, towels,

Please contact for information on drop off points.

 Everything collected will be handed over to Caritas at their headquarters on 23rd June at 19.00.


Re-Food LisboaReFood 14th of May 2016

Is it possible that we throw away 1/3 of all the food we produce?  When a ReFood Volunteer came to Rotary Club Estoi Palace International and explained that it is possible everyone there was very surprised.  What is Refood?  In 2010 an American ex pat living in Lisbon, Hunter Halder, realised that he could help to stop these shocking amounts of food being thrown away and reutilise them.  On Wednesday 9th March 2011 Refood went into action with one volunteer on a bicycle visiting 30 restaurants and collecting enough food to feed 50 people in need for 5 days a week.  Today there are 31 ReFood centres operating throughout the country where more than 4,500 volunteers are currently rescuing 46,000 meals a month from more than 900 food source partners and serving 2,500 people 5 to 6 days a week. 

Faro is the next Centre to come on line and the official opening will be on the 14th of May.  RC Estoi Palace International members were so impressed with this fantastic effort that they decided to help with some fund raising to buy much needed items.

RC Estoi Palace International together with the Rotary Club of Olhão and Alliance Francaise in the Algarve will be hosting a White Night Dinner at the Catering College in Faro on 28th May at 7.30 pm, admission 20 euros.  For further information contact  Come and join us at this event to help raise funds for a fantastic cause.

For further information on ReFood and how you can help see their website or Facebook page ReFood.  There will be a public presentation on 13th May by Hunter Halder at the Escola Superior de Saúde in Faro at 7.00 pm, followed by the official opening on the 14th of May.

São Louenço SingersSão Lourenço Choir 15th April 2016

The São Louenço Choir was formed  in January 2013.  Numbers vary but currently the choir has around  40 members from different nationalities with a mix of sopranos, altos and baritones under the musical direction of Joyce Whitelaw. Their diverse repertoire ranges from jazz/swing through to classical.  The choir is based in the São Lourenço Cultural Centre.

Agnete Sylvan of the Rotary Club of Estoi Palace International is a choir member and she organised a fund raising musical extravaganza at the Lethes Theatre in Faro on behalf of Estoi Rotary on the 15th of April.  The choir treated a full house of over 230 people to a selection of songs from Broadway musicals, through the decades, including West Side Story,  My Fair Lady and many, many more songs.  Over 2800 Euros was raised for the Algarve Oncology Association and other Rotarian charities.

RCEPI would like to thank all those who gave their time to this event  and particularly the management of Lethes Theatre for their assistance and Fine Dining in Almancil for helping with the bar.  A very entertaining evening was had by all.  For further information on the Rotary Club of Estoi Palace International please contact

vanhandover.JPG New Van for Vale Silves Community Centre Boliqueime

 The Social and Community Centre of Vale Silves, Boliqueime, provides support to the local community in various ways.  Its principal objective is to help and support unemployed families but its scope is wide and far reaching.  The team there provide information, occupational workshops, social and cultural events, transport, youth clubs, activities for the elderly,  and much more. It relies heavily on donations to keep going. vanback.JPG

The Centre desperately needed a new van to continue transport of the elderly and infirm plus daily food deliveries to families within the Loule area.  The Council committed to funding 50% but needed help with the remaining 50%.  The Wolf Valley Charity stepped in with an offer of assistance and they asked Rotary Club Estoi Palace International if it would also like to contribute. 

The Wolf Valley charities are helping the Rotary Clubs of the Algarve to purchase a new mobile breast screening unit for the Algarve Oncology Association. In the spirit of working together with other charities to assist in the local community, RCEPI were only too pleased to be able to join them on the Vale Silves project.  The van was handed over last week to a delighted Administration Team by the Wolf Valley Charity President Paulo Chaves and Treasurer Graham Miller along with President Elect Jim Ditheridge and Chair of the International Committee Shirley Dunne from RC Estoi Palace International.  The Centre staff explained what a difference the van would make to them in the help they can give to the local community. 

For further information on RCEPI contact, Wolf Valley Charity at and view events and info on the Vale Silves Community Centre website

29th October 2013 Rotarians Visit Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre RIAS Click to read release
10th October 2013 Rotary Completes Project with Banco Alimentar Click to read release
4th October 2013 Winetasting Dinner to Benefit International Polio Initiative Click to read release
September 2013 Estoi School Presentation - September 2013 Click to read release
8th September 2013 RCEPI 5th Birthday Celebrations Click to read release
18th May 2013 Rotary Club Estoi Palace opens it's new office Click to read release
3rd May 2013 Rotary Quiz Night Click to read release
27th February 2013 Milk Project Surpasses 20.000 litre Milestone Click to read release
25th January 2013 Charity Wine Tasting and Dinner Click to read release
7th November 2012 Murder Myster Fund Presented to Sao Bras Bombeiros Click to read release
19th October 2012 Successful Quiz Night in Almancil Click to read release
September 2012 New Rotary Members Click to read release