If Music Be The Food Of Love …

Good old Bill Shakespeare (everyone’s favourite writer?) was probably thinking of the seductive charms of music -a romantic tune over a glass of wine etc. when he wrote these lines but they mean something a bit different to our Rotary Club.

For some years one of our senior members, George Kafizas, has been organising musical events to raise funds for our charities – Margarita Liasidou Cantre in Geroskipou and Friends Hospice. We have held events in Tala and Pissouri Amphitheatres and this year at Anesi restaurant in Peyia.

These events raise thousands of Euros for these valuable organisations to continue their work, caring for the needs of young people with health issues and those with a serious illness. This year we are also supporting the Autistic Society. Is it overly sentimental to call staging these concerts an act of love? There is certainly a lot to be said for events that everyone enjoys but which also raise funds for worthy causes.

The Anesi concert was a bit of a first for us in that it featured some Greek music alongside a bit of Rock. Ronn van Etten, a very talented Dutch guitarist who is well known in Cyprus provided the rock, doing many of his favourite Eric Clapton numbers. Then a trio of local artists – Panayotis, Marilena and Panicos – presented some stunning Greek music. There was singing and dancing and a very successful raffle. Adding in the very generous sponsorship from local firms the event raised over €4000 for our charities.
…but is there a better way?

The event at the Anesi took a lot of effort (almost all on the part of George) to stage. Over 100 people attended and had a good night. But do the math (as Americans incorrectly say!). Out of each ticket the Rotary Club got €7. The raffle raised about €400. If we had just asked for contributions of €20 for our undoubtedly valuable causes and 100 people had responded we would have raised more money with far less effort.

I make this point largely because my wife, when she gets fed up with me talking about, and running around for, Rotary says ‘You spend so much on Rotary. Why don’t you just make a large donation to charity instead?’ I, of course, reply that being a Rotarian is not just about raising money for charity but have to concede that we do spend a lot of time on this.

So I want to ask you, my reader(s) – are there better ways of persuading good people to part with their money than putting on music events, quizzes and Race Nights? If, for example, our Rotary Club started a Givers list where people could donate to good causes, safe in the knowledge that all donated funds would reach the charities, would you join and give, say, €20 a month – no concerts, no quiz nights. If we could sign up 50 people we could donate €1000 a month. And I do really want to know – maybe you would be kind enough to message me – address below. So – events or just giving?

Of course Rotary isn’t just fund raising. We make connections and friends. We enjoy events and meals together. We are welcomed in places all round the world when we visit. How do you put a price on these things? But I suppose there are those who like to be part of a group and those who don’t. If you think you might be interested in becoming a Rotarian let me know, along with your response to – Givers or Participants?

In any event – rock on!

Ian Graves

[email protected]

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