Cath’s Charity Bar Walk 2017 Raises More Than €2,000

The Vale Da Telha Charity Bar Walkers raised more than €2,000 for local children last weekend—and they also raised a thousand smiles along the 2.2-mile (3.54km) route on the Algarve’s west coast.

The final sum is expected to be significantly higher once the last donations and collecting tins are in, which would make a total well in excess of €7,000 for local charities over the three years since this annual event was started by Vale da Telha’s energetic fundraiser, Cath Baker.

In the next week or so Cath will meet with teachers at the school in Aljezur and with the Aljezur Branch of the St Vincent de Paul Society to discuss how to distribute the money raised.

She told us: “The walk has a serious purpose but it is basically just a fancy dress pub crawl. We visited 10 bars in a little over three hours between Restaurante O Paulo on the Arrifana promontory and the final ‘watering hole’ at the Restaurante Fonte do Vale in Vale da Telha.

“We had a lot of laughs and one of the walkers, Chris Kent, jumped into the swimming pool in her hula girl outfit at one of the ‘pit stops’ once people promised to donate more money if she did it”.

The walk is inspired by the charity pub crawls Cath remembers from her native Lancashire and she went on: “The idea was to take a serious cause, like raising funds—initially for Portimão Hospital in the first year and now for local children and families in need—but to add the fun element of walking in fancy dress and dropping off at selected bars, having a sup or two and enjoying a little craic and banter.

“The bar owners all happily joined in, agreeing to make donations for each drink sold.

“One or two of the walkers, having taken on a little too much liquid refreshment along the way, were perhaps staggering a little at the finish.

“But at least they did so knowing that the money they have helped to raise will benefit less fortunate local children and needy families.

“That was well worth all the sore heads the following morning!”

Cath who was assisted by co-organisers Steve Scott and Brian (DJ Rockindad) Jutsum—he also provided the evening’s disco and dancing—added:

“What was really inspiring was that members of the local Portuguese community became involved in the walk itself. It is not something they normally experience, but they loved it and plan to take part every year.

“I was overwhelmed with the generosity not just of friends and the bar owners but also of complete strangers and motorists who stopped to ask what we were doing, taking pictures and giving us money.

“There was loads of enthusiasm from the public, with car drivers tooting horns and waving, actually stopping their cars to see what it was all about. We also rather cheekily stopped a few cars to ask for money, because every cent counts.

“There were a lot of laughs and a few tears because of the sheer generosity of people. So I’d like to thank everyone who walked, drank—and raised lots of money!”

There were prizes for some of the best outfits and the winners were: June McIver (Cleopatra), Faith Quinton (Cereal Killer), Chris Kent (Hula Girl) and Rob Sees and Bob Packham (Hippies).

  Cathy and Steve, two of the organisers

Editorial: Matt D’Arcy

Photographs: Matt D’Arcy, Sue Bedford, Brian Jutsum, Ruth Ingham-Hill.

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