It truly was a night to remember, and one that will have a lasting effect on the lives of 17 families that were badly hit by the recent floods in Almeria .

An amazing €12,000 was raised for the flood victims at a charity dinner-dance followed by an auction and raffle at the El Mar la Mar in Villaricos.

Around 100 people attended the big fund-raising event hoping for prizes thatincluded a round of golf with English cricketer Ian Botham, a weekend for two at the five-star Don Carlos Hotel in Marbella and a meal with James Hewitt at The Polo House restaurant, plus a flat screen television donated by Euro Weekly News.

Michel and Steven Euesden, publishers of the Euro Weekly News, attended the function and were accompanied by key staff from the newspaper’s Costa del Sol headquarters, along with representatives from the paper’s office in Mojacar.

Michel Euesden, who has always believed that charity begins at home, said “this evening has proved this once again without any doubt. I have always been fond of Almeria but sadly in recent times it has been hit by a catastrophic chain of events. Between political decisions I am not equipped to comment on, raging fires and then the recent floods, this small corner of enchantment was turned by unimaginable nightmares into a zone disintegrating before the eyes of residents.”

“However, the local families are not quitters and none more so than the dynamic Richard and Louise Shepard of El Mar la Mar. Involved in many charitable events over the years they put their money where their mouth was, paying personally for all the food and wine. This means that all – and I mean all – the money raised through people buying tickets for tonight’s event will go straight to the Red Cross. And the staff have even donated their tips.”

“The atmosphere tonight was incredible and credit must also go to Jessica and Richard Shanley, owners of the local Spectrum Radio station. The attendance reflected their efforts in both the lead up and the night itself.”

Richard Shanley was equally exuberant about the event. “I am thrilled with the funds raised. I can’t think of an event in the area that has raised so much, and I can’t thank everyone involved enough.”
Richard Shepard, owner of El Mar La Mar, said the “local community should be proud of what has been achieved. I will be happy sitting down eating my Christmas dinner knowing that the families affected will be close to gaining normality in their lives again.”