Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world every day because they share a core belief - to serve their community.
Calpe and Benissa Lions Club or more correctly Club de Leones de Calpe y Benissa as we are officially known is based in the small Spanish towns of Calpe and Benissa in the north of Alicante Province on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
Our Club was conceived in July 2007 through the auspices of the adjoining Teulada Moraira Lions Club and with the boundless enthusiasm of our founding male and female Charter Members.
Our aims and objectives are the same as all Lions clubs, but here in Spain and particularly so where we live, the culture is one where your reputation and respect has to be earned by what you do within the community for the community
It is with this ethos, and by bonding individuals into a team where their personal skills are maximised, together with the Lions motto “We Serve” foremost in our minds, that we will continue to develop and be able to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
From it’s beginning the Club has developed fundraising projects and service activities in the Calpe and Benissa areas whilst also ensuring that friendships are developed through various social events. The many fundraising events have included:
- Fashion Shows
- Choir performances
- Tea Parties at the Iris Gardens at Marnes
- Christmas Fairs
- Multi Cultural Fairs
- Flamenco nights
- Jazz on the Beach
- Sponsored Swims
The funds raised at these events enable the Club to make substantial donations to many deserving local associations and organisations such as:
- Calpe Foodbank
- Cruz Roja ambulance
- Calpe and Benissa EMAUS childrens homes
- Maite Boronat Institute for the Handicapped
- Gargasindi School for the Handicapped
- Raquel Paya School for the Handicapped
- Alzheimers Association
- Monthly Caritas food distribution for the poor in Calpe and Benissa
- Costa Blanca Samaritans
Early meetings of the Club were held in the Casa del Cultura in Calpe. As there was little ability for the members to enjoy a social atmosphere before and after meetings, it was decided in 2011 to hold the meetings at the Gran Sol Hotelin Calpe where a convivial drink can be enjoyed before the business meeting and an optional sociable meal afterwards.
The Club is still small and actively looking to recruit new members, although we do have a small band of helpers who are always willing to give their time when required.
Anyone from the locality reading this who feels that they too would like to make some practical contribution to the needs of the community and would like to know more about the Club can find telephone numbers on the ‘Contact Us’ page. Please do not hesitate to ring – any of the members listed would be more than pleased to talk about the Club and arrange for interested enquirers to meet the rest of the members and get the full picture before making any commitment.
Membership is open to both men and women of all nationalities and ages. As a member you will be able to assist the club in determining the many types of service provided to our communities and have opportunities to meet other individuals in your community who wish to make a positive difference to the lives of others less fortunate than ourselves whilst at the same time having fun.
Monthly meeting are held in English in the Gran Sol Hotel Calpe on the first Tuesday of the month (except for July and August) at 6pm.
Calpe is a vibrant coastal town of 30,000 people some 40km north of Benidorm.
The municipal district of Calpe extends around two bays with the Peñón de Ifach rising between them.
The slopes of the Peñón have been declared a Nature Park, in which a great variety of endemic plants shelter and numerous species of birds nest on its rock face.
This limestone rock, with a height of 332 m, rises straight out of the sea with precipitous cliffs frequented by adventurous rock climbers and numerous gulls. There is a path all the way up to the summit, from where a magnificent view can be enjoyed. The Roman salt flats “The Salinas” at the foot of the Peñón are also an important ecological landscape used by many migratory birds including flamingos.
Lying 10km north east of Calpe is the traditional mainly inland town of Benissa.
At 275 m. above sea level and at the heart of the La Marina district, Benissa surprises at every step. It is a delight to stroll down through the perfectly preserved Old Quarter and discover the great museum that reveals the history of the locality.
The renowned Riberero Monument is dedicated to the natives of Benissa who had to leave their home town to go to Valencia to find work in the rice fields, first to plant and then to harvest the rice. The monument depicts a peasant in a praying position because they used to pray before the slave stone before beginning their journey to work.
Benissa’s character has arisen from years of Iberian, Roman, Arab and Christian history. Going back thousands of years, remains like small cave paintings have been discovered that suggest the area was inhabited in the Prehistoric era. Coins and amphoras are signs of Roman presence in our lands. Nevertheless the origin of Benissa's name (Banu-Issa) is considered to be Arabic. Even today most of the rural areas of the municipality preserve their Arabic names.
Both towns have an interesting blend of residents, including the local Spaniards and many expatriates from mainly northern Europe. This mixture of cultures gives us many and varied opportunities to carry out our primary purpose of making a difference to the communities where we live.
Lions have a dynamic history. Founded in 1917, we are best known for fighting blindness, but we also volunteer for many different kinds of community projects - including caring for the environment, feeding the hungry and aiding seniors and the disabled.
Lions give sight. By conducting vision screenings, equipping hospitals and clinics, distributing medicine and raising awareness of eye disease, Lions work toward their mission of providing vision for all. We have extended our commitment to sight conservation through countless local efforts and through our international SightFirst Program, which works to eradicate blindness.
Lions serve youth. Our community projects often support local children and schools through scholarships, recreation and mentoring. Internationally, we offer many programs, including the Peace Poster Contest, Youth Camps and Exchange and Lions Quest. Our Leo Program provides the youth of the world with an opportunity for personal development through volunteering. There are approximately 144,000 Leos and 5,700 Leo clubs in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Lions award grants. Since 1968, the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has awarded more than US$700 million in grants to support Lions humanitarian projects around the world. LCIF was also ranked the number one nongovernmental organization in a 2007 study by The Financial Times.
Lions help during disasters. Together, our Foundation and Lions are helping communities following natural disasters by providing for immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies – and aiding in long-term reconstruction.
Lions are active. Our motto is "We Serve." Lions are part of a global service network, doing whatever is necessary to help our local communities.
For more about Lions Clubs, go to www.lionsclubs.org
Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.