By Bejay Browne
TWO PARISH priests and dozens of others participated in sponsored pancake races in Paphos yesterday to raise funds for charity.
The two-hour event was held outside Gina’s place –a delicatessen and cafe situated on the main road in Chlorakas, between 10am- 12pm and was broadcast live on Rock FM Cyprus.
Deli owner and organiser of the event Gina Ghillyer said: “It started out as a simple coffee morning to raise funds for CARITAS. The church had asked all the parishioners if they could hold events such as bazaars of coffee mornings to help raise some money and as I go every week, I wanted to do something to help.”
She said then they decided to “do something a bit different, to make it more fun and involve the community” and settled on a pancake race.
Passing traffic hooted their support and shouted encouragement to racers as they drove by the event yesterday.
Parish priest Fr. Carlos Ferrero and Fr. Miguel de la Calle of Saint Paul’s Catholic parish in Paphos – where Ghillyer is a regular worshipper – entered into the spirit of the event and participated in one of the races, much to the delight of the crowd. They were beaten to the finish line by the deli owner.
Fr. Carlos said: “We wanted to take part in this fun event which has a serious purpose of helping those in need. We also want to thank everyone for coming here today. We are continually trying to raise funds for the disadvantaged here in Paphos. Obviously they have day-to-day needs and so we are always looking at way to try and raise funds to help them.”
The event took place on Shrove Tuesday – also known as Pancake Day – which is observed by many Christians. It precedes Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent.
All of the funds raised will go to the local branch of CARITAS International.
Local businesses supporting the event included Key Cars of Cyprus, Chic boutique in Chlorakas, and Cyprus tree services.
The winners from each race took part in a final which saw Laurence Doughty of Cyprus Tree Services crowned the winner. He was presented with a gold cup full of chocolate money and an enormous ‘Gina’s celebrity sandwich.’
“I have asked Gina to make a donation to CARITAS, instead of claiming my sandwich. The event has been a lot of fun, but I think I need a rest now,” he joked.
The fun event was marshaled by Paphos resident Malcolm, and his team of volunteers. One race included a fundraiser in a mobility scooter which saw other competitors running backwards to give him a fair chance. He went onto win his individual heat.
The entrants paid €2 each to participate in a race and a further €5 for coffee and a bun, which were made and provided by Ghillyer.
The parish priest said CARITAS International consisted of over 160 Catholic organisations, under the title: ‘Stronger together’.
Cyprus belongs in CARITAS MONA (Middle East and North Africa). All of the Catholic parishes in Cyprus (Roman and Maronite) have a branch of CARITAS.
Footage and pictures from the races will be added to Rock FM radio’s Facebook page.