Bristol Rotary raises nearly $20,000 for Azores orphanage

By Manny Correira
Posted 10/12/23

This latest Rotary fundraiser helped raise money and clothing for girls ages 2 to 12 in conjunction with the Rotary Club in São Miguel Azores. It was deemed a huge success.

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Bristol Rotary raises nearly $20,000 for Azores orphanage


The Bristol Rotary Club put its best foot forward recently when its membership held a very successful fund-raising event for an orphanage in São Miguel, the Azores.

This latest Rotary fundraiser, held on Sept. 9, helped raise money and clothing for girls ages 2 to 12 in conjunction with the Rotary Club in São Miguel Azores. It was deemed a huge success.

The Bristol Sports Club fundraiser benefitted Nossa Senhora Dos Anjos Orphanage in Sao Miguel. The orphanage is dedicated to providing a safe haven for girls “and is in need of costly renovations, especially the bathrooms, to make them handicap accessible.”

“We did the fundraiser recently at our favorite place, Bristol Sports Club, with the help of Elisio and Arminda ‘Amy’ Castro,” said Lou Victorino, longtime member of Bristol Rotary and a five-time Paul Harris Fellow. “Everyone present was very instrumental in helping us raise nearly $20,000 for this very worthwhile cause. The total from the event was $8,738, with matching grants boosting the total to $17,475 for the Orphanage. Plus, another $2,500 from Atlantivacations for a total amount of $19,975.02. Also, there were four barrels of donated clothing for the 2 to 12 year-old girls. Renovations are also underway there in the Azores.”

Also adding to the success of this event was a performance by internationally famous singer Sonia Bettencourt.

According to her bio, Bettencourt is from Lisbon, Portugal and lives in Boston, Mass. She sings in English, French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, and is fluent in the first three languages mentioned. She has also sung in German and Latin in the several choirs she belonged to as a child and teenager. Including “Coro de Santo Amáro de Oeiras”, known as one of the best choirs in Portugal.

Born to a musically-oriented family, she began singing and dancing at a very young age, having family and friends as her audience. All throughout her teenage years, she participated in Song Festivals, winning first prizes due to her solid interpretation. She had singing (vocal technique) lessons for a brief period when she thought about being a Lyrical singer but she decided it wasn't the type of music she wanted to do in her life, even though, she was very praised as a soprano.

All those who donate to this worthwhile cause will help create a nurturing and safe environment for the girls so that they can flourish.

Victorino, president of Atlantivacations Travel & Tourism Agency, who has helped spearhead this venture, said people who are involved in this project are all volunteers.

Bristol Rotary Club, whose “Service above Self” motto has been in play since its founding in 1929, has also been bolstered by the efforts of fellow members Maria Cesario, secretary of the Bristol Rotary Foundation, Mary Jo Tavares, Rotary incoming president, and Treasurer Cidalia Rodrigues.

“We all know people who need help,” said Cesario. “We’ve all worked hard to live up to Rotary’s ‘Help Us to Help Others’ motto. We also gave $10,000 towards the Rotary Club based in Maui, Hawaii following those horrific fires.”

Mary Jo Tavares also recognized the need for people to step up in times of need.

“I’m proud to be a part of Rotary,” she said, “especially what we’re doing for those girls at the Sao Miguel Orphanage in the Azores. It is so gratifying.”

Cidalia Rodrigues talked in similar terms.

“Rotary allows me to do more, through the power of Rotarians locally, and around the world,” she explained. “It’s a way of serving those in need. I find it extremely rewarding for being a Rotarian.”

Those people who would like to donate to this worthwhile cause can do so by sending their check to: Bristol Rotary Charities Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Bristol, RI 02809.

2024 by East Bay Media Group

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