Barnstaple Inner Wheel Romps Home for Charity …

Barnstaple Inner Wheel’s Race Night turned out to be a huge success with over a thousand pounds raised for the two charities they were supporting.

Over a hundred punters enjoyed a night out at the races at St. John’s Garden Centre. Races were shown on the big screen and compered by Mike Stainer.  Bets on the winners were taken at the Tote.

Some race-goers even became the lucky owners of a horse. A bumper supper was provided by the catering staff at the garden centre and a bar was provided by Bryan and Beryl Jones. Races were sponsored by local businesses and everyone had a chance to get into the spirit of things with a free £1 token to bet on the first race.

By the end they were caught up in a bidding war to be owners of the horses in the final race. Auctioneer Richard Smith charmed the audience to part with their money and at the final reckoning a whopping £1,133.45 was raised for Devon Freewheelers and The Barnstaple Chemotherapy Unit Appeal.

President Gay Ross said, “I would like to thank everyone who helped to raise this amazing amount of money. We couldn’t have done it without the help and support of local businesses and the supporters who came along on the night.

This is a fantastic result and together with other events we have held this year we will be able to give £800 to each of the charities.”

[print_gllr id=3782]

Bideford (UK) and Colico (Italy) Fosters International Understanding …

..and has fun at the same time!  Our Bideford Club have had a ‘twinning’ with Colico in Italy for the past 6 years and on Friday, 9th May it was the turn of Bideford to visit our counterparts in Italy. Eight members with four of their husbands arrived at Milano Malpensa airport to be met by a welcoming party who took us to our respective hosts to rest and change for the evening’s Gala Dinner hosted by the Rotary Club of Colico.

To report on everything that we did would take all day so here is a precis of what we got up to on our visit.

Saturday morning, after breakfast with our hosts, we met up in Colico to get a coach to Bergamo which is stunningly beautiful town about an hour and a half from Colico.  We were welcomed by the Mayor of Bergamo (who also happened to be the cousin of one of our hosts) who told us they were honoured to have us for the day and hoped we had an interesting time in his town.  We had a wonderful English speaking guide who took us around the town, pointing out historical buildings and frescos and then we went in to 2 cathedrals (side by side) both of different styles and dates.  In the baroque cathedral there was the statue, papal jewels and empty coffin of Saint Pope John XXIII who was born in Bergamo.

That evening we all met up in Julia and Nico Galperti’s home for drinks and canapes on the terrace overlooking the mountains and lake before descending to their ‘family room’ for an evening of laughter, chat and a wonderfull array of dishes made for us by the Inner Wheel ladies of Colico.  Our group was missing our President, Erica Malone, due to ill-health so the speech (in Italian) and presentation of a folding lectern was made by Hilda Cauldwell to much cheering and hand clapping.

Next morning we all caught the train to Milan and spent an hour or two in EatItaly which is best described as a Harrods Food Hall crammed with all type of Italian Food and Restaurants.  Then it was off to see the wall painting by Leonardo Da Vinci of “The Last Supper” in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.  We all agreed, it was quite breathtaking and very humbling.  Then it was of to Sforza Castle to walk round the grounds before out return train to Colico.

With no time to change, we all arrived at Magda and Enzo Tognini’s home where preparations were well under way for our evening in their Il Crotto – a huge entertainment area complete with outside kitchen and a pizza oven.  What a feast we had.  Antipasti, freshly baked pizza, salads, langustine with pasta, veal, cakes, pastries and endless mugs (yes mugs) of wine. The evening eventually drew to a close with thanks all around for such a wonderful welcome and hospitality from our friends in Colico and an open invitation for them to visit us again next year.

Here is a selection of the photos taken during our visit:

[print_gllr id=3728]

Otter Valley unveil their Wheels Project …

On 1st May a group of members from the Inner Wheel club of Otter Valley met up in the Otter Windows premises in Honiton where Devon Freewheelers have their base in East Devon.This was the club’s Wheels project and Joint Presidents Monica and Eleanor handed over a cheque for £500 to Terry from the group.
The Freewheelers perform a vital service in the Health Service providing emergency transport of blood, human tissues for transplant service, urgent medications, donor breast milk and any urgent medical equipment that can be transported by motorcycle.
Terry showed the members the bike, pointing out special compartments which are padded and can hold icepacks for the transport of human tissues and blood, which need to be kept cold.  A further compartment behind the rider has space for breast milk, for premature babies and blood samples which need to be kept at a different temperature.  The bikes, which are ex-police issue are fitted with blue lights to enable riders to make speedy journeys when lives are at risk.  Joint President Monica was very keen to take up Terry’s offer to sit on the bike.
“We are delighted to receive this substantial sum, which will help us continue to do this vital work in Devon.” said Terry as he received the cheque on behalf of Devon Freewheelers.
The Inner Wheel members then went on to enjoy friendship and fellowship with a lunch at the Deer Park at Weston.