Vale da Telha Charity Bar Walk

by Matt D’Arcy

TOP CAT and Officer Dribble, Robert the Brute, Hawkeye the Noo, Shaun the Sheep, doctors, nurses, nuns, Bavarian beauties and a host of other characters turned a 3.54km (2.2mile) walk into a laugh-a-minute stroll that raised around €3,000 for charity.
The fourth annual Charity Fun Walk here on Vale da Telha raised €2,437 on the day with the final total expected to pass that €3,000 mark once all pledges are in.
And it means that the walk—with the participants calling in 8 bars along the way for a spot of liquid refreshment—has so far raised more than €10,000 for charity since it was started in 2015 by Vale da Telha’s very own Cath Baker who based it on charity pub crawls held in her native Lancashire.
The walk was held on September 9th, beginning at Restaurante O Paulo on the picturesque Arrifana promontory, with the Restaurante Fonte do Vale in Vale da Telha being the final “watering hole”, where the walkers’ arrival was the signal for a big party with music by Brian DJ Rockindad.
Prizes were handed out for the best male and female costumes. Faith Quinton won the ladies’ prize with her “Shaun the Sheep” outfit that involved the application of 550 cotton wool buds.
And Bob Packham took the men’s prize with his “Robert the Brute” outfit.
At one stop along the route Cormac Murphy, as Bavarian Boris, persuaded customers to have a €1-a-head whiparound to “persuade” him to dive into the swimming pool, kitted out in his full lederhosen!
The donations were flooding in even before the walk, with local Vale da Telha quiz group handing over €550, another €250 from community association Amovate, €150 from the lline dancing group, €100 from the Amovate Keep Fit class and €100 from the Vale da Telha Pilates Group.
And before the start at Restaurante O Paulo one customer handed over a €50 note to Cath, who—with co-organiser Steve Scott and her partner Kjell Motet—stopped cars, passers-by and tourists along the way persuading them to drop a few coins into their collection buckets, swelling the coffers.
Paulo at the restaurant also very generously put into the collecting tin all the money from the drinks bought by the walkers at the start, and also made a €50 donation himself.himself, as did the Restaurant Brisamar at Arrifana.
And later the Restaurante Fonte do Vale, which hosted the post-walk event, made a further donation of €285.
Previous walks organised by Cath have resulted in the presentation of 29 wheelchairs to Portimao Hospital and of an electric wheelchair and ramp for a local boy suffering a degenerative illness.
Last year’s walk provided the funds to build a Snoezelen room fitted out with sensory equipment for special needs children at Aljezur school and this year the cash raised will go towards buying a waterbed for the room and more sensory aids.
The school’s special needs teacher Claudia Fernandes commented: “The Charity Bar Walkers are making our dreams come true”.

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