HEAVY rain on the evening of Friday, August 1, failed to dampen the spirits of all attending the Rotary Club of Barry’s first fundraising event of the new Rotary year – a barbecue at the Welsh Hawking Centre, Barry.

A flying display courtesy of past president Griff and Jamie of the Welsh Hawking Centre, with some audience participation, marked the beginning of a pleasant evening. This was followed by a sumptuous barbeque of roast pork and jacket potatoes with all the trimmings – splendidly cooked to perfection by Griff who served all visitors and guests personally. Good food and fellowship was the order of the event, with a bar and a well supported raffle bringing the total raised to £1,000. Live music from the Lost and Found was enjoyed by everyone.

Monies raised from this year’s barbecue will go to the Vale of Glamorgan Riding for the Disabled to purchase a wheelchair accessible ramp to enable more children to experience the joy of riding. The organisation which gives support, commitment, encouragement and care to enable disabled children to achieve more and more each day, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and totally relies on voluntary help and donations in order to deliver its service. It brings together children and ponies to create a unique environment of training, therapy and fun, encouraging individual achievement from sitting on a pony for the first time to working towards proficiency awards. Progression is celebrated at every level.

At the end of the evening, newly elected president Robin Pitcher said that he was delighted with the support and the success of this first fundraising event of the year, with special thanks to Griff, his wife Norma and the Hawking Centre staff and paid tribute to the ‘teamwork’ of his fellow Rotarians. He said that the Rotary Club of Barry was proud to support the Vale of Glamorgan Riding for the Disabled as they celebrated 50 years of making a real difference to often restricted lives of disabled children, helping them realize their dreams.

The new Rotary year is proving to be busy for the Rotary Club of Barry. On July 31, they presented a fourth defibrillator, this time to the Memorial Hall in Barry. On August 13, the Club will be at the Vale Show in Fonmon supporting Stroke Awareness by offering free blood pressure tests to everyone attending the show, along with a stall promoting defibrillators. Much needed monthly donations are being taken to the Vale Food Bank; an autumn lunch is to be held in October in the Memorial Hall and plans are already in hand for the Annual Fireworks Fiesta on November 5, at Barry Island which will take place come rain or shine.

Rotary has over one million members worldwide who form a global network of business, professional and community volunteers. The Rotary Club of Barry meets weekly in the Mount Sorrel Hotel on Thursdays, 6pm for 6.30pm. If you would like further information you can speak to Immediate Past President Peter Battle on 01446 710204 or look online at www.ribi.org.