SUNDAY afternoon was a time for celebration at the Emaus children’s home as the Make a Smile charity headed by Tony Grande welcomed more than 50 Harley-Davidson bikers from the Costa Blanca Chapter to Relleu, high in the mountains behind Finestrat.
The bikers donated €3365 in January to the ´Make a Smile´ charity, a community organisation founded by Tony Grande of The Calpe Bed Centre. His vision is to help the Relleu unit, home to 24 youngsters, become self-sufficient by regenerating the ten hectares of land in which it stands, with the help of a dedicated army of volunteers.
Tony invited Peter Emmett, Press Officer for the Costa Blanca Chapter and Montserrat Fiter, President of Emaus, to bring the bikers along to see where and how their money was being spent.
300 eggs per week
They were taken on a tour of the facilities and grounds, where lush vegetable crops had been planted. There are olive trees and animals, including baby goats, lambs and 128 happy chickens now laying over 300 eggs per week – enough to supply all seven homes which Emaus runs! And the surplus is sold on, with the money reinvested back into the project.
Every Thursday, volunteers head up to the home where last week they sowed 1,350 plants bought with donations kindly made by people such as the Harley bikers group. Tony said: “The money donated here is an investment toward the home becoming a self-sufficient farm, giving the residents a purpose. Once the crops are ready to harvest we hope to sell veggie boxes for €20 to include our own olive oil, eggs and a selection of vegetables.”
A group of kids from the Xàbia International College also came, proudly wearing their ´junior warrior´ t-shirts. The school is actively involved in the Make a Smile fundraising project, involving youngsters positively in the community in which they live.
After the tour, all 95 guests enjoyed lunch in the sunshine, with Wayne and Steven from the BBQ Shop in Calpe cooking up treat and Gaby the house resident cook providing an incredible paella big enough to feed everyone.
Denia rock group ´Gatecrash´ rocked and rolled, entertaining the visitors and residents –a perfect end to a Sunday afternoon.
Visit www.makeasmile.es to watch the beautiful video showing the unit and what they are trying to achieve – and there is also a donate button.