Blogging from the Murcia region of Spain until early June, when I return to
the Highlands of Scotland for a few months

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Saturday, 18 July 2009

MCC Gardening Group Fund-raising Barbecue - 15 July 2009

From what I have read and heard from direct contacts with people who were there, the Barbecue last Wednesday evening, hosted by the MCC Gardening Group to raise funds for their future activities, was a huge success and everyone seems to have enjoyed the evening a lot. Unfortunately as I am not currently in Spain I couldn't be there myself, but am really grateful to have received a large number of photographs from Wendy and Barbara, together with detailed comments from a number of people including Alan, Ricky, Wendy, Hazel, Linda, Lyn and Barbara amongst others.

Of course the fund-raising Barbecue, whilst a hugely enjoyable (if tiring) exercise for everyone who helped to organise it and to do the catering and hosting work last Wednesday, was a means to an end - not the ultimate end in itself. Naturally the actual gardening and weeding work must continue!

"All volunteers most welcome - please come along!"
Sunday 19th July at 8pm!

(Meeting at the open space opposite Manzana 28, between Manzanas 31 & 33 to finish laying some membrane and gravel, before proceeding to the top of the open space between Manzanas 19 & 20, possibly to do some planting if the soil can be broken up to dig a hole for a large plant.)

Below are some of the photographs I have been sent of the Barbecue last Wednesday and as usual you can see enlargements of these photographs by clicking on the link included below. However, because there are a lot more photographs this time, I thought it might be interesting to include them plus most of the others in a separate 'slide-show', for which a link is also provided below. I hope you enjoy seeing these photographs as much as I did, particularly those of you who are like me not currently in Spain.


MCC Neighbourhood Concern Gardening Group
Fund-raising Barbecue 15 July 2009
"From small acorns larger trees do grow"


Click here to see enlargements of all these photographs, where you will also find detailed descriptions of each photograph. Additionally, you can see a slide-show of all these photographs and many more here.













Click here to see enlargements of all these photographs, where you will also find detailed descriptions of each photograph. Additionally, you can see a slide-show of all these photographs and many more here.

As I mentioned earlier, comments received since Wednesday by the gardening Group from people who came along to the Barbecue were almost universally positive. Particularly welcome comments were received from a number of the relatively few vegetarians amongst diners that their interests had not been forgotten and that the food they were offered was much better than just the usual salads they are often offered, although there were several different kinds of salads for everyone to enjoy, too, of course. The restaurant too have indicated how pleased they were with the extra bar-sales they achieved during the evening. There were some great raffle prizes available and I hope the winners of these prizes enjoy them. I don't yet know the final financial result of the evening, but I understand that this should be available in the next day or two and is likely to be gratifyingly large - all to be ploughed back into the Gardening Group's efforts to beautify the environment of MCC for the benefit of all. A great big thankyou to everyone who came along to enjoy the evening and support our efforts last Wednesday!

Alan has helpfully written quite extensive notes about the way the Gardening Group has developed so far and how the planning for the Barbecue developed:


"From small acorns larger trees do grow"

A few months ago a small group of people decided that they would like to tidy up some of the rough unattended pieces of land around MCC to improve the appearance of where they live.

Work started in earnest, and very quickly several parts of this rough ground were turned into something that looked far more pleasant.

Unfortunately as funds were limited and relied on small donations from other residents, specially themselves, this was quickly absorbed in buying essential items like gravel etc.

After discussion amongst the group it was decided to try and raise additional funds by holding a BBQ. Originally it was thought that perhaps 50 to 70 people would attend, and the group decided to fund the food from their own pockets.

After an initial meeting the basic plans were put into place. A newly formed band was approached to see if they would give of their services at a very low cost, which they did. This was the start.

The price of the tickets was placed at a very reasonable level to encourage people to attend with the hope that in doing so additional funds could be achieved at the event in the form of a small raffle and hopefully the giving of donations.

At this point each of the Gardening group's email 'in-boxes' was being filled with suggestions, agreements and discussions about the event. It was then they set up a small web site so that they could discuss not only the arrangements for the BBQ but other issues as well. It was like a large communal email.

Once the basic idea was floated and ticket sales announced it was very clear, within a few days, that there were going to be many more than 70 people who would likely want to attend.

The group decided to form into sub-committees to handle the different aspects of the BBQ. However, communication between each group was also placed on their web site so that the other members could keep up to date with developments and comment on various issues that had to be decided.

Several of the Gardening group members managed to get local businesses and others to donate prizes for the raffle. As these prizes were promised it became apparent that their quality would encourage ticket sales. In fact all tickets sales from the raffle went into the much needed Gardening fund. Sales and prize lists were announced and once again these tickets were in demand.

Soon the original allocation of tickets for the BBQ was completely sold and many other people still wanted to buy some. It was decided to increase the number available; this happened on two occasions and eventually tickets sold reached 230, many more than first anticipated.

Not to be put off by the large numbers the group continued with the organization, adjusting their thoughts as they went. Although the BBQ was to raise additional funds, much emphasis was placed on the fact that the evening should be a very good social event which would be enjoyed by everybody who attended.

At last everything was in place although one or two last minute hiccoughs did arise, but were quickly dealt with.

The evening started well and the cooks, albeit on a very hot night, lit their BBQs and started to cook, other people were arranging salads, liaising with the restaurant and Gardening Group and selling more raffle tickets.

The distribution of the food was organized so as not to have a stampede, as everybody had gone to great lengths to ensure that there was enough food to go around for all who bought tickets.

The band started up and the evening’s event was well under way and it appeared that all who attended were enjoying themselves.

Later, in the band's break, a small speech was made to enlighten all attendees what the Gardening Group hope to achieve with their activities, invite others to join the Group and most of all thank everybody who had helped not only with the BBQ but with the gardening works, plus all those who had donated prizes.

The raffle was drawn, much to the delight of the prize winners. The speech and raffle fitted nicely into the band's break, and therefore caused minimum disruption to the dancing, laughter and enjoyment everybody was having.

It was earlier decided that the band would finish playing at a reasonable time so as not to upset neighbours. When the band finished playing there was not a mad rush for all to go home and pleasingly many stayed on, talking and socialising, for quite some time thereafter.

During the evening, and all throughout the next day, most of the group were receiving words of thanks and gratitude, congratulations and many other good comments about the event and how well it was organized. Many asking "When is the next one?" or "Can we have one every week?" etc.

A lot of hard work and careful planning went into this tremendously successful evening. It is gratifying to know how well the Gardening Group's efforts were received and how much that is positive will flow from the goodwill created, not to mention the funds generated.

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