Estoi Palace International Rotary Club (RCEPI) held its annual Presidential handover on 30th June at Aquarelle Restaurant in Almancil. Outgoing President, Jim Ditheridge, reflected on what a fantastic year the Club had experienced. Almost 25.000 euros was donated to local projects including the Algarve Oncology Association Mobile Breast Screening Unit, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, ACAPO Association for the blind, ReFood, Riding for the Disabled, Education and many more worthy causes.
On the international front, 5500 euros was donated to help the End Polio Now campaign, shelterboxes for Haiti and Italy after their disasters, microfinancing and maternal support in Sao Tome were amongst some of the recipients. In total around 30.000 euros has been distributed to assist those in need. The outgoing President thanked everyone who had supported and contributed to these projects and thanked all Club members for their efforts during the year. He gave 3 Estoi Palace Club rotarians, Phil Wyndham, Maria Jose Pires and Shirley Dunne, Paul Harris awards in recognition of their sterling service to the Club in the past year.
President Elect Manuela Robinson, who was born in Mozambique and then forced to flee as a child with her family to South Africa, has first hand experience of being a refugee and seeing the difference charity organisations can make. She obtained a degree in Business Economics and now works as a financial adviser with Blacktower Financial Services. Manuela set out her plans for the coming year which will focus on smaller community projects following the successful conclusion of the mobile breast screening unit. The Club will also focus on membership development and public image, telling people our story. Rotary International has 1.2 million members worldwide and the Rotary Foundation has donated 300 billion dollars worldwide in its 100 years of existence. Following the success of the AOA mobile breast screening unit, Manuela is also keen to work more closely with other Algarve Rotary Clubs and local charitable organisations. She reminded us that being a Rotarian is about the people you help . . . at the end of the day, the only that matter in Rotary is how much better the world becomes, because Rotary is in it and because we “make a difference” . . . because we put “Service above Self and One profits most who serves best”.
Rotary Club Estoi Palace International contact , www.rotaryestoipalace.org.