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Touching moments as Los Gigantes lights up for Christmas 

PAGE 22 TOUCHING MOMENTS 2

A dedicated community.based charity has brought a touching, poignant emphasis to the meaning of Christmas.

Steve Gilbert, Vice Presi-dent of The Lions Club of Santiago del Teide, joined the Mayor, Emilio Navarro, and members of their respective organisations in Bougainvillea square, Los Gigantes which hosted a switch-on of special festive lighting.

The Mayor and Mr Gilbert headed the vanguard which signalled the start of Christ-mas festivities across the municipality with 5,800 LED low energy consumption bulbs placed in all the towns.

Mr Gilbert told the audience that a number of years ago, the Lions Club of Santiago, with the help of the Ayunta-miento, started the tradition of erecting the tree of light in the Plaza In Los Gigantes.

He said: “For the first couple of years we raised money to cover the cost of Third World cataract operations. “

“This was part of an inter-national Lions Club effort, that in a few years, raised enough money to perform over seven million eye operations. The support we received was fantastic.”

“At Christmas time, most people like to do a little something to help others less fortunate than ourselves,” he declared.

“The concept was and still remains simple: One light purchased on the tree remains lit throughout the festive season and is dedicated to the memory of a loved one no longer with us at this time of year.

“Each donation is then used to support the cause no-minated for the current year.”

And he revealed: “In 2018, we have decided to put all money raised into our fund for helping many families here in Santiago del Teide to supplement the purchase of basic food and household commodities.

“For seven years, the Lions have been issuing coupons to about 120 local families who can use them in nominated supermarkets. “

“To date, we have given out in excess of €50,000. This has been raised through various functions the Club mounted, including regular weekly quizzes, Gala Dinners and Markets.”

“Thanks to the Ayunta-miento’s support, we have our own Lions Store (Almacén) below the Centro Medico in Puerto de Santiago.

“We put on sale here a huge range of quality used clothing and household items at incredibly affordable prices. That bring in a revenue we can put straight back into buying more food vouchers.”

He added: “This, inciden-tally, is only a part of the Lions Club’s efforts to help local people. Many times, people who are struggling have been referred to us by the Social Services department, in cases where local government is not empowered to help. “

“We could never give out the details of our help, because we need always to be mindful that privacy has to be protected. “

“However, the sort of help we are often asked to give extends from paying for a child’s school meals to covering the cost of specialist medications not subsidised by the State.

“One of our mottos is “or-dinary people doing extraor-dinary things.”

Christmas, the group of voices a cappella “Sometimes” put the musical touch to the night and delighted all present with their voices.

In addition, members of the Lions sold helium balloons at a price of 5€, in which the participants in the balloon itself or on an attached card wrote a wish.

Everything collected by the municipal NGO will be in-vested, entirely, in the purchase of food to distribute among the most needy families of the municipality during specific dates.