Incoming Woolwich Community Lions Club president Diane Smith will be starting the year off with a clean slate, as this year’s group was able to make their final payment to the Woolwich Memorial Centre fund, fulfilling their commitment of $50,000 over three years.
The all-female service organization had a very successful year, with a number of events bringing in money that was later distributed to community groups in need. Donations totaling more than $24,000 were approved for local community projects including the Family Violence Prevention Program run by Woolwich Community Services, Sunshine Therapeutic Riding program, Lissard House, Woolwich Counselling Centre and Community Care Concepts.
The club also provided a donation to the relief mission in Haiti in memory of Yvonne Martin, provided Medic Alert bracelets for children at two local schools and sponsored a Lions Foundation service dog.
“I am really happy with what we were able to accomplish this year,” said Smith. “Each year our club has grown and with more members, we are capable of raising more funds for both local and global causes.”
In addition to the fundraising activities that allowed for donations, the club volunteered for community, district and international activities. Members provided vision screening for kindergarten age children in more than 15 schools in Waterloo and Woolwich and collected eye glasses for sight conservation projects in the Third World.
Other activities include collecting toys and food for WCS, participating in both the Elmira and KW Santa Claus parades and gardening at the memorial gardens in Elmira and Breslau. The club sponsored a bursary award at Elmira District Secondary School for the fifth year and organized the local Purina Walk for Guide Dogs, which raised more than $8,000 locally this year.
“The walk was such a success this year,” said Linda Palmer, past president of the group. “We got a great number of people out and everyone seemed to be in support of the project.”
And the club has already gotten a start on events for next year: last week they held the early bird draw for the Shania Dance Draw Raffle, giving $200 to winner Mike Bender. Another $500 draw will be held at their Christmas Extravaganza ‘An Affair to Remember’ and the final draws will take place on Feb. 12, 2011 at the Shania Twin Dinner and Dance.
In the works, Smith added, are a team for the ‘Run for the Cure,’ a ‘diabetic breakfast’ to raise money for the Diabetes Association, the sponsorship of a dog for an autistic child and co-hosting the annual Lions Club convention alongside the Elmira Lions Club.
“It’s important for the community to remember that we are a service organization,” said Palmer. “We want to help out groups in our community so please feel free to get in contact with us and see if we can work together.”
The Woolwich Community Lions Club was chartered in 2003 and now has a membership of 66.