A little bit of English tradition came to this beautiful Turkish village on Monday June 10th.
A “Fun Day” organised by the Turunç School Donation Fund was held and ran along the lines of an English Fête with all the usual crafts, activities, games and stalls one might expect to see back in England. Fortunately, the usual British summer rain was nowhere to be seen and the event went ahead in glorious sunshine.
The village car park near the Monday Market was cleared for the day with the parking shelters providing some relief from the blazing sun for the hard-working stall holders. The event organisers had even provided a free water taxi service for visitors from Marmaris.
There was a wide range of stalls and activities on offer to help tempt visitors. Many of these were run by volunteers who had clearly been busy over many weeks baking, sewing or just collecting and labelling items for sale. The home-made cake stall was especially popular as was the bric-a-brac stall proving that one person’s unwanted ornament can be someone else’s treasure!
There were games of skill such as apple bobbing (I saw no apples bobbed myself but a few wet faces) and games of chance – a tombola, ‘guess the number of sweets in a jar’ and ‘find the full wine bottle’. The Turunç Gazette handed out free copies of its monthly village newspaper – which is well-worth a read by the way.
For those feeling peckish there were burgers, doner kebabs, honey balls and delicacies from the new village Chinese restaurant on offer. Kids were catered for a huge bouncy castle and mini electric cars. The event wrapped up at around 5pm with the raffle draw featuring some great prizes – many generously donated by village businesses.
The “Fun Day” had its serious side of course. Turunç Village School like all schools, all over the world – however well-funded – is always striving to provide the best facilities for its children and their education. “Everything we do here at this school is an investment in the future of our children” – these were the parting words of the school headmaster when I interviewed him a year or so ago. They have stuck with me ever since.
This year the School Donation Fund had already raised 170TL at a coffee and cake morning as well as an impressive 1,050TL in stall sales on Children's Day (April 23rd). However today’s “Fun Day” had much grander aims: to raise funds to support the building of a new boiler room to replace the current facility which was flooded last year causing the heating system to keep breaking down.
Amanda Kartal one of the main event organisers posted this update late on the evening after the event: “Today’s Fun Day … I would like to say a Very Big thank you to all who helped and took the time to care enough. We have at this moment raised about 3.000TL profit. Thank you to everyone who came. Thank you to all our local businesses for your gifts and help and a very big thank you to Han Restaurant for all the water donated today it was a life saver and I have the tan to prove it....”
That’s an amazing outcome – and makes all the hard work on the day and in the weeks leading up – worthwhile. The children of Turunç School should be really proud of their parents and village neighbours.
with special thanks to Jobey Butt & Maria Fountain for the pictures