Wednesday, 20 September 2017
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Charity Bar Walkers Raise €2,000…And Counting!The figures are impressive—more than 50 walkers, 35-degree heat, dozens of gallons of beer and wine consumed…and most importantly more than €2,000 raised for local children’s charities, with the promise of more to come.

That’s the bottom line following the second annual West Coast Charity Bar Walk last Sunday from Restaurante O Paulo on the Arrifana promontory to the Restaurante Vale Da Telha at the Pines roundabout.

But they are just the bare statistics. This fun-packed event was like a carnival on the move, people—in and out of costume—singing, dancing and laughing over the 3.54km route (2.2 miles) before enjoying a disco evening.

Cormac Murphy as rock icon Frank ZappaMore than 30 people who completed the walk in fancy dress were undaunted, despite sweltering in the heat—although two of them, Alan Balchin and Cormac Murphy, no doubt enjoyed dive-bombing into the Arrifana Youth Hostel pool after accepting a challenge which resulted in another two donations to the day’s charity collection.

Along the way motorists stopped to stare at this procession of eccentric individuals and were encouraged to make donations. Passing them were figures like The Joker, three nurses, Davina, Alana and Roberta (with suspicious 5 o’clock shadows!), Pocahontas, Crocodile Dundee, Andy Murray, a Mandarin princess, a couple of hula-hula girl, some bacon and eggs and a giant jellyfish!

Cath Barker, organiser of the event laughed: “The looks on people's faces as they drove by in their cars were a picture. Some people thought it was my hen do, but a lot of them willingly popped some money into the collection boxes when they realised what it was all about.

“Even before we began the walk Paulo at Restaurante O Paulo gave us €100 to start us off and our local Line Dancing Class donated €120, which was brilliant.”

The walkers stopped off at several watering holes—local bars and restaurants—along the route to take on “liquids” which meant that a few people were a touch the worse for wear (not mentioning any names) by the time they got to the last bar at the Restaurante Vale Da Telha.

There, they then danced and sang until nearly midnight to the disco hosted by Richard Brogden (aka Ricky Diamond).

Cath Baker - Doll in a BoxCath, who was inspired to organise these walks by recalling the charity pub crawls so popular back in her native Lancashire, said afterwards:

“It was a tremendous turn-out on what was possibly the hottest day of the year so far and a lot of people gave up their time, making such items as sausage rolls, quiche, scotch eggs and freshly baked cakes to sell at the end of the walk.
“On the day we raised €1,800 and that quickly climbed the following day, topping €2,000 with, hopefully, more to come. So it was a great effort by everybody who took part or who helped by giving their time and their skills”.

There were prizes at the end of the evening for the best fancy dress costumes in three categories.

Cath herself won the ladies prize for her outfit of a doll in a box, inspired by a similar outfit made for her by her father when she was just four years old.

Cormac Murphy won the men’s prize for his portrayal of a 60s and 70s rock icon, and three year-old Pippa Churchill, as a pirate, won for the child’s best costume (even though she wouldn’t wear the hat!).

By Matt D’Arcy

Photographs By Sue Bedford and Mandy Turner

The walkers in fancy dress, preparing to set off