Lion Jim Scala providing vision screening to a St. Edwards’ student.
At start of our last meeting, president Wayne Bent voiced his recognition to the membership for the excellent turnout for the first meeting held in October. A total of nineteen members attended the meeting.
Lion Jim McGlade, chairperson of vision screening reported that once again the vision screening was completed in the two local schools, Rideau Vista and St Edwards. He thanked Lions Don Baker, Dave Blair, George Jones, Jim Scala, and Heather Huth as well as community members Mike McIntyre and Barbara Fritz for their help in the screening process. A total of seventy-one students were tested, eleven students were identified with problems and the report suggested they get further testing by an optometrist. The Westport Lions Club has kept alive Helen Keller’s request for Lions to be her “Knights of the Blind.”
From the property committee, Jim Scala reported that he has acted on the club’s motion to purchase a much needed storage container. It will be delivered on October 23rd and Don Baker will arrange for the removal of high-risk trees adjacent to its location and prepare the ground for its placement.
Jim Scala reported that all forty-eight advertising slots in the upcoming calendars have been sold, and the calendars will be delivered to the club at the end of October. It was recommended by Rene´ Reynen that we put up posters in the village to communicate to the community which merchants will be selling calendars. Jim Scala will produce the posters for placement in the store windows and around town, and place a newspaper ad communicating the availability of calendars and where they can be purchased. In the past, many people bought calendars from Betty Ann Murphy, a huge supporter of the Westport Lions Club; Lion Rene´Reynen’s store New Beginnings will now be the central location for people wishing to purchase calendars in town.
The recycling depot is closed for the season and will open again this spring. Many thanks to chairperson Lion Mike Robinson, and the many people that supported this community service and fundraiser.
Craig Jackson, chairperson for the Santa Claus Parade informed the club that the Santa Claus Parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 25th starting at two p.m. Craig has commitments from the four bands that traditionally participate. Marty Hawkins will be this year’s director of ceremonies and Roy Chisamore will again be the clown distributing candy. Craig informed the club that this year’s parade theme is ”An Old Time Christmas”. Don Baker reported that the horse and wagon team would participate again. Wayne Bent asked for volunteers to work on the Santa Claus Parade Committee with Craig. Lions Dorothy Maynard, Michael Harris, Rene´ Reynen, Don Baker and Robert Merkley volunteered. The committee will commence fund raising immediately to cover the costs for the parade. Jim Scala reported that last year’s parade cost five thousand dollars, so that figure should be the fundraising target. Lion Craig agreed to make a poster to be posted at the place of businesses of financial supporters of the parade. Dave Blair suggested the Santa Claus Parade committee consider a potential change in starting /finishing location to the Mac’s Convenience Store’s property from St. Edwards’ school. Dave reported the increased size of the Mac’s Convenience Store’s property would make it much easier to organize the floats and bands. Don Baker reported traffic control would be easier if we by-pass the intersection of Bedford and Rideau which a new location could facilitate. The committee will look into the potential for a location change.
President Wayne Bent will purchase the candy for both Halloween and the Santa Claus parade. Heather Huth asked the club if we could change our location from Church Street in front of Cottage Country to Spring Street in front of the Library. The Library will be taking “trick or treater” pictures in front of a “green screen” to add a background graphic. Digital pictures will be emailed at no cost and photographs will cost $5. It is felt that the Lions presence at the Library would help draw more traffic for this Library fundraiser. The Club agreed to support the Library.
Wayne Bent reported on the request from the Stittsville Lions Club for financial assistance to help them to support Joshua who has kerataconus disease. The Ottawa Eye Institute reported the virus has destroyed the transplant cornea he received in February, as well as layers of his own cornea and he does need a full transplant now. Kerataconus disease has been seen in Ontario since 2008 and in Europe since 1998. The Ontario doctors have no treatment plan for this disease other than a transplant. It appears European doctors are more experienced in dealing with this disease and have treatments for it. The Stittsville Lions Club went ahead and booked a flight to the United Kingdom and booked rooms because this needed to be addressed as soon as possible. Joshua flew to the UK on October 10th. The total estimated cost for Joshua’s treatment and travel expenses is $ 24,000. The Westport Lions Club passed a motion to financially assist the Stittsville Lions Club in this endeavor.