December 9, 2023

By Margaret Sheard …..

We are not always able to attend events but on Friday 15th September, the Celebration Party held by Hope4Pets at The Courtyard in Karakum was close to home so we were able to go along to enjoy the evening in aid of a very worthy charity.

Mo and his staff were very busy serving the 80+ people who attended the event and they did an excellent job of serving the 2-course meal and making sure everyone had drinks to quench their thirst.   The event was held in the lovely courtyard area which is such a pleasant atmosphere.

As usual, there were many familiar faces and when we arrived we were greeted by Stephanie Harrison-Croft and one of her colleagues, Liz Stowell who was giving out a ‘doggy bag’ to all those attending.

Stephanie started the event by welcoming everyone and thanking the Hope4Pets members and volunteers for their support.   She also introduced the committee members – Liz Stowell and Emma Eminsoy.

The entertainment for the evening was by Mr ‘James’ Smile and Brian Delaney and they both gave us some excellent music and favourite songs while we ate and they also encouraged some of the guests to get up and dance.

There was a choice of starter and main course so we made our selection, which was very enjoyable, while listening to the music.

During the evening, I was able to have a conversation with Stephanie’s colleagues – Liz Stowell and Emma Eminsoy.   Stephanie joined Hope4Pets soon after it was created and was quickly joined by Liz and later Emma, so between the 3 of them they do a great job of dealing with the plight of street dogs and cats, strays and lost animals.   Of course they have many volunteer helpers but when speaking with Liz and Emma they mentioned that while they try to cover the whole of the north of the island, they would be appreciative of help from the east side of North Cyprus where distance is a problem, so if there are any people who would like to give some assistance they can make contact through the Hope4Pets Facebook page by clicking here, or their website by clicking here

The Hope4Pets group was originally registered in the UK and Liz and Emma were pleased to say that it is now a registered charity in North Cyprus which was granted on the 29th July 2017. There are over 5,000 Facebook members between the UK and North Cyprus and with charity status now in North Cyprus this is bound to increase even more.  Liz told me she operates between the UK and North Cyprus so she is able to keep an eye on both.  Emma is in North Cyprus full time. 

There was a raffle and during Brian Delaney’s performance he conducted the drawing of the winning tickets.  There were some nice prizes and Suzy, who had joined us at our table, won 2 of them, lucky winner.    We have been informed that 2,300TL was raised at the event, including some membership fees, the raffle and a donation from the meals by Mo of the Courtyard.

When we arrived at the event we were so pleased to see Maria Vic, probably one of her last events before leaving for the UK on Sunday to start a new life, after 10 years living in the TRNC.   Maria was the original founder of Hope4Pets and although she found it necessary to stand back in recent times, it will always be one of the things she can be so proud of as the group has moved from strength to strength in the last 3½ years.

Over the years Maria has taken in many dogs and eventually had 6 permanent residents.  This has been one of the most traumatic decisions for her with her imminent departure but she has managed to deal with this – 2 will be going with her to the UK, 1 has been relocated in North Cyprus, and 3 are going to the UK to be re-homed there. Many people were shocked to learn of the death of Maria’s beloved husband, Vic, and although he is buried here at the Lapta Cemetery, she will be taking him with her in her heart.   Bon Voyage Maria

I later looked at the doggy bag which contained dog and cat treats, a ball, pen and a little box of chocolates for the humans.  A really nice touch and much appreciated and thanks are extended to Stephanie and the Hope4Pets organisers for arranging such a nice celebration party.

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