Los Pistoleros present their donations

On 28 th April if you were planning on treating yourself to a meal of fish and
chips you might have had a bit of a surprise when you got there. The main
dining hall at Quesada Fish and Chips was not populated with its usual
Saturday night diners but resembled what could only be described as a Wild
West scene.
Outlaws and saloon girls, preachers and Texas Rangers, Los Pistoleros were
out in force for their annual presentation of charity donations. Los Pistoleros
are a ‘westerner’ club and they re-enact scenes with traditional western
themes across the year at fiestas and at other events they are invited to. They
certainly know how to enjoy themselves too with the dance floor filled with line
dancers moving in unison.
This year Los Pistoleros had chosen four worthy causes to received the
money that had been collecting throughout the year. Following the meal,
Reach Out were presented with a cheque for €500, AECC €500. Butterfly
Children €500 and San José Obrero Orphanage in Orhuela €1,000.
Los Pistoleros are well known for their fundraising. In 2014 they won the
Costa Blanca People’s Pride of Spain award for ‘Fundraisers of the Year’.
Every year they decide on which charities to support at their AGM that this
year was held on 3 rd April. ‘We don’t keep any money for expenses or for
anything else,’ explained Marshall Brian Williams, otherwise known as
‘Stumpy’. ‘All the money goes to the charities we decide on at the meeting.’
Los Pistoleros continue to be a thriving organisation. First started in 2009 they
have raised a total of €16,000 during their years of entertaining others and, of
course, having a little fun themselves. The scenery and clothes that
accompany any Los Pistoleros gathering have been carefully put together for
authenticity. Some dresses are even brought in from America.
From their original founding membership group of ten people, they now
consist of forty members and draw in many more at their regular dances.
They are always happy to welcome new recruits and if you think you might
like to join them you should call Brian on 617 620 627.
At Quesada Fish and Chips those representatives collecting for their charities
were certainly appreciative of their fundraising activities. Vicente, the Director
of the orphanage in Orihuela, was there in person to receive the donation. It
was explained during his introduction that the orphanage is dependent on
contributions such as this to keep the children equipped and that they don’t
receive state funding.
It must have seemed a strange combination of people and activities as he
stood on the platform and, with the help of a translator, expressed his
gratitude on behalf of the children of the orphanage. For Los Pistoleros it was
an opportunity to make their own pastime of benefit to others too.

Harmonisers give to charity

Following their money-raising event ‘Blue Monday’ Torrevieja’s Barbershop
Harmonisers were delighted to present cheques to two important charities on
29 th January. Altogether a donation of €2,350 was made to the Alzheimer
charity AFA Torrevieja and the cancer charity AECC Torrevieja. Both charities
were presented with their cheques by Bob Stein who is treasurer of the
Barbershop Harmonisers.
A representative from AECC expressed his gratitude for the money raised;
‘On behalf of the AECC, we would like to thank Torrevieja Barbershop
Harmonisers and their treasurer, Bob Stein, for their generous donation of
€2,350 presented at the ranch office. The money will be put to very good use.’
Now, the group wants to continue to raise more money and entertain people
at the same time. In order to do this they are on the lookout for new members.
They rehearse every Friday from 10am until 12.30pm at the Casa Contenta in
Rojales, formerly known as the Spider-Man Bar. Any new men who might be
interested in joining them will be very welcome.

Marcha por la Vida

On Sunday 15 th October it was the ‘Marcha por la vida’ or walk for life that
took place on Torrevieja’s sea front. Although it is an annual event, this year it
seemed to attract more people than ever; keen to demonstrate their solidarity
when it comes to the fight against cancer.
The crowd began to gather at 11am with people meeting around the Hombre
del Mar as well as further up the paseo. There were plenty of pink t-shirts on
display with people having already reserved theirs in advance. Last year they
actually ran out on the day. It was very much a family occasion with mums,
dads and children and pink was everywhere.
People had come up with lots of ideas for spreading the word, including pink
ribbons in children’s hair and dogs sporting bink bows too. Those people who
had registered were given a bottle of water and a pink scarf which could also
be seen on a few pets who accompanied the walkers.
It wasn’t just those who had already registered who turned up. Many people
arrived and bought their t-shirt to take part on the day. This swell in numbers
means that there could have been as many as 600 people there. The
numbers are growing every year.
The walkers were a little late in setting off due to the arrival of so many at the
last minute. The anticipated start time of 11.30am was delayed for perhaps 20
minutes whilst the final participants were registered. The police were there to
escort those taking part on the march to Las Columnas and back.
Jenny Dodd was one of those taking part; ‘There were lots of puzzled looking
northern Europeans wondering what was going on,’ she says. ‘But also quite
a few puzzled Spaniards who are visiting for the holiday period. It was very
hot, especially in the t-shirt and it was just as well that a breeze got up as we
set off.’
The money raised from the day will go towards the AECC (La Asociación
Española Contra el Cáncer) and following the turnout, the event is expected
to have raised a significant amount.

World Cancer Day raises much-needed funds

Maria and the Pink Ladies hosted a local World Cancer day event at Zenia Boulevard on Saturday to mark the occasion. World Cancer Day takes place annually on 4th February and unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.
The local event attracted hundreds of well wishers and the warm sunny day encouraged people to join in the fun and help raise funds for Spanish anti-cancer charity the AECC. This was Maria and the Pink Ladies fifth World Cancer day event and it relied on members of the public making donations in return for an Iris plant or AECC merchandise such as keys rings, pens or unity bands. The iris plants that Zenia Boulevard provided proved very popular and helped to raise 1,784.16 euros and thanks goes to the shopping centre management team for the generous donation of the plants and for letting the Pink Ladies, yet again, take over the shopping centre for the afternoon.
Thanks also go to Tony Horrocks from Sunshine FM, who supervised the outside broadcast for the day and to Stevie Spit for comparing the e vent. The crowds were entertained on the day by local performers who gave their time and talents for free and these included: Rob Sweeney, David Williams and his Rod Stewart tribute, Suzy.G and Jaz, The 2 Ton Spice Girls tribute, Janelle Gaskell, Nikki.G, Kylie Burgazzi and saxophonist Stuart Sinclair, Just Ollie, Kevin Tyler and Luis Blacknight as Flashback and Totally Dance with their fantastic troop of 2-16 year old girls and boys.
Of course, as well as fundraising and having fun, there was a serious side to the event and lots of appointments were taken for subsidised cancer checks which form part of the AECC’s Early Detection Programme – and is always the most important part of these events. The Pink Ladies volunteers also answered people’s questions and queries and worked tirelessly all afternoon giving more of their time to the charity.
The next event hosted by Maria and the Pink Ladies in aid of the AECC will be held at the The Emerald Isle, La Florida, on Thursday 2nd of March. The event will run from 12noon to -5pm and as always will be a great fun day out.
Mireille Toddington

New Year Swim

New Year's Day Swim
Fundraisers brave cold water for good cause

The annual New Year’s Day swim in aid of the AECC and organised by The Blarney Stone too place at Playa Flamenca Beach on Sunday. This was the third year the event has been held and attracted 14 brave…or foolhardy…swimmers.
Whilst most of us were nursing a delicate head, these people were braving the distinctly nippy med in order to raise money for charity. So far the group has raised just over 1900 euros and there is still more sponsorship money and fundraising planned. In total the organisers hope to raise more than 2,500 euros, which would beat last year’s event total of 2,000 euros.
The money will be handed over to AECC fundraising group Maria and the Pink Ladies at a Presentation Evening at the Blarney Stone on 26th January where another raffle will be held to boost the total amount.
Anti-cancer charity the AECC provides a subsidised Early Detection Programme for men and women, checking for prostate, breast, cervical and skin cancers.

Santa Walk

Sunday finally saw hundreds of people flock to Zenia Boulevard to put their best foot forward for charity with the annual Santa Walk. Organised by Maria and the Pink Ladies, all of the money raised goes directly to the Spanish anti-cancer charity, the AECC.
This year, as always, the walkers and those who came along to give their support, got into the festive Spirit of the walk and dressed in fancy dress. Of course, there were lots of Father and Mrs Christmas’ but also, snowmen, elves, rein-dogs and Santa-dogs.
More than 100 people registered for the walk, at €5 per person, and people also made donations raising a total of €1,056.04….which is €1.04 more than last year! This was the seventh annual Santa Walk and the third to be held at the shopping centre. The walk is a 5k circuitous route from Zenia Boulevard and although it is a walk people are able to run, jog, cycle, skate or be pushed round. Following the walk there was live entertainment and Sunshine FM played festive tunes.
People also brought along toiletry items for the teenage children at Elche Children’s Home – such as deodorant, shower gel, perfume, aftershave, body lotion, moisturiser – and items of dried or tinned food stuffs for Reach Out to help feed those in need this Christmas. These collections were presented to representatives of the charity as part of the event.
The Pink Ladies said: “Thank you to all the walkers and to everyone who made donations of food and toiletries. Thanks also go to Simon Morton and Dan Davy of Sunshine FM for providing the music at Zenia Boulevard and on the walk, to Trainer John for the use of his truck, to Zenia Boulevard for hosting the event, the police who escorted us and big thank you to all the Pink Ladies and Panthers who took part.”
All the money raised will be used by the AECC to subsidise its Early Detection Programme which offers cancer screening tests for men and women against several types of cancer.
The AECC Office at Playa Flamenca Commercial Centre will be closed from 17th December to 9th January 2017. Appointments can still be made on the Maria and the Pink Ladies webpage: www.pinkladies.es and for emergencies, call Maria directly on 633 487 595.
Since forming in June 2010, Maria and the Pink Ladies and Panthers have raised more than €303,700 on behalf of the AECC.

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