April is the time to enjoy fresh asparagus on Hvar. Damir Carić is the President of the Hvar Lions' Club. He also cultivates organic asparagus. This year, he was the diriving force behind a novel event, a feast based on asparagus, under the title 'Hvarska šparogijada'. On Saturday 9th April 2016, the Lions' Club and the Hvar Red Cross Association hosted an opulent lunch featuring no less than 20 asparagus dishes, cooked by an elite team of some of Hvar's most notable chefs: Damir Čavić, Marinko Jurić, Ivo Buzolić-Lojko, Petar Hure, Karlo Trogrlić and Marino Radojković with the team of cooks from Hvar's Hotel Palace. The meal was made complete with a selection of cakes and a choice of alcoholic or soft drinks. Damir Carić donated an astonishing 80 kg of asparagus. Prized Hvar wines were donated by Paveto Petrić from Stari Grad, Andrija Carić of the Svirče Cooperative, Andro Tomić from Jelsa, as well as Lions' Club members Antun Tonči Ščepanović and Nikola Karković-Trentin.
The event, which was supported by Hvar Town, the 'Sunčani Hvar' hotel firm, and the Hvar Rotarians, took place in the Loggia of the Hotel Palace, one of Hvar's prime venues. Music was provided by Hvar's female a cappella group, Klapa 'Bodulke'. For 70 kunas the 200 or so participants had a full meal with drinks, and there was also a prize lottery at 10 kunas a ticket. There were also speeches. Damir Carić paid fulsome tribute to the expertise and heroic efforts of the team of chefs The President of all Croatia's Lions' Clubs, Dražen Melčić, described the work of the organization locally and internationally. Both speakers welcomed special guest Dr. Borben Uglešić, a well-respected psychiatrist in Split, who is a father-figure to the Hvar Lions' Club.
All the proceeds from the event are to be devoted to helping two needy island residents, one Frančeska from Hvar Town, and Dragica from Stari Grad. The Hvar Red Cross Association, headed by Maja Budrović, works tirelessly to help islanders of all ages who have special needs, whether temporary or long-term. Its work is receognized and honoured by fundraising events such as the 'Šparogijada'. This inaugural event was such a success that the consensus was that it should be repeated annually. There are always deserving causes in need of help on the island. It is truly heartening to find such a level of selfless goodwill ready to offer that help. Congratulations to all concerned!