This year’s Gozo Outing was postponed to September due to the elections earlier in June, but thankfully we were blessed with beautiful weather. We had 71 special guests together with their families joining us, who were assisted by 17 volunteers. After an early start we all set off on the 9:00am ferry from Cirkewwa, once in Gozo 2 coaches and 2 wheelchair vans collected the group and took them to Xewkija Church whose patron saint is St. John the Baptist and the religious seat of the Order in Gozo. Mass was celebrated by Mons. Paul Vella, after which pastizzi and cool refreshments where served. Soon after the group headed down towards Marsalforn where they were served a lavish buffet lunch very kindly setup by The Calypso Hotel. Some free time ensued and all enjoyed some time strolling along the promenade. The group made their way back to Mgarr harbour and returned to Malta with the 4:30pm ferry. The cost of this special outing was sponsored by CASUMO Services Ltd, without whose kind contribution would not be able to treat our dear patients to such a lovely day. Special thanks also goes to Chris Galea and the OMVG who assisted us throughout the day and helped in the planning of this year’s trip.
For this year’s social evening we treated our guests to something different and planned a “Lejla Malta” at Razzett L-Antik in Qormi. The event was very well attended with 59 special guests and 21 volunteers turning up to give a helping hand on the night. The meal kicked off with traditional Maltese bread antipasti, followed by pork and chicken served in small pots which added a rustic touch to the evening. During dessert our guests were also treated to typical Maltese folklore dancing with some guests joining in too. Overall it was a great evening, with lots of food and fun had by all.
On Saturday 1st July 2017 a social gathering and fund-raising activity was organised and held at Porzuincola in Bahar ic-Caghaq. The management of the Franciscan Retreat House very kindly sponsored the venue to support this initiative. The event kicked off with mass celebration, followed by welcome drinks, canapés and a BBQ. All food and beverages were kindly sponsored and prepared by volunteers and helpers to everyone’s delight. Over 70 people attended this event and all guests, family members and friends who were present were very grateful for the organisation of this evening with many asking for similar activities to be organised in the very near future.
This year’s ladies night was held at the idyllic and wheel chair friendly Il-Veduta Restaurant in Rabat, where we were able to host 30 ladies and had 11 volunteers on the night. The owners of the restaurant very kindly offered us a set menu at a reduced rate for all the ladies, while the helpers settled their own dues in full. This cost of this evening was also covered by a kind donation from a private donor, whom we thank immensely.
This year’s reunion was well attended with over 90 guests turning up for this relaxing evening held in the beautiful grounds of Meridiana Wine Estate in Ta’ Qali. The venue and wine was very kindly sponsored by Messrs. Meridiana Wine Estate Ltd., a delicious buffet BBQ was setup by Chef Jesmond Vassallo who also very kindly sponsored the seating for the event. GSD sponsored the soft drinks and once again we were offered 2 Gold tickets for the Joseph Calleja Concert sponsored by NNG promotions. It was an enjoyable evening all round, where everyone had the opportunity to catch up with old and new acquaintances and at the same time donating towards a worthy cause.
The Men’s Night was held at St. Anthony’s Band Club, Birkirkara. This spring a small group of male helpers and guests met for a traditional fenkata dinner which was generously sponsored by the bar management. We had 10 participants on the night.
This year’s Lenten talk was held at The Salesians Oratory, Sliema and was attended by members. Our Chaplain Fr. Savio Vella celebrated mass and contemplated over Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia. The evening ended with some light refreshments being served.
The popular fund-raising card party was once again held at Villa Arrigo, and was very well attended with a total of 162 participants and 9 volunteers turning up, the room was split among rummy and bridge players and a delicious tea was served mid-afternoon. This event is a very important one in VOTO’s calendar as it greatly contributes towards the children’s programme during the yearly pilgrimage to Lourdes.
This year the VOTO Council hosted 57 adults and 12 children to a memorable Christmas party which was held at the Marsa Sports Club. 13 volunteers helped out at this event and Joe D’Amato dressed up as Father Christmas and distributed Panettone’s to all the adults and goodie bags for the children as a little thought on behalf of VOTO and its members during this special time of year.
Since many members were present at this year’s Christmas drinks it was decided to present the end of year donations at the beginning of the evening. Mrs. Margaret Farrugia the Executive Chairperson presented a handsome donation to the President of MASMOM , H.E. The Noble Daniel de Petri Testaferrata, followed by Fr. Savio Vella for Dar Osanna Pia and lastly to Ms. Doris Aquilina on behalf of the Sisters of St Ursula. VOTO also gave other donations this year, namely to Dar Tal-Providenza, The Hospice Movement and Dar il-Kaptan.