Lion Bill Garlan (left) is presented with a Lion pen by President Wayne Bent for his outstanding work with the Spring Draw.
Westport Lions Roar
By Lion Bob Reddick
Why did I join the Westport Lions Club? When I became a Lion, I knew very little about Lionism, and what the club actually does. All I knew was that the club did a lot of great things in the community, I just wasn’t knowledgeable about the specifics. I was also ignorant of the Lions’ dedication to global causes such as diabetes, the environment, hunger, childhood cancer and vision.
When I retired, I knew that I wanted to do something to give back to the community. I explored some options that best suited my talents and interests but they all required committing to a rigid schedule, which I did not want. Like many people, I had spent years on a structured work schedule. I wanted some flexibility in my life. I wanted to travel and pursue my hobbies and not be tied down to a volunteer commitment, like coaching, where you are expected to attend every game and every practice.
The main reason I joined the Westport Lions Club was the flexibility of when and how I could serve our community. I recently counted 27 current activities that a Westport Lions member could be involved in. Surely there would be a couple of activities that would meet your schedule, talents and interests. If not, you could create an event that you are passionate about, such as our recycling program, a beach volleyball or pond hockey tournament. I have always found the members to be very supportive of any endeavour a member wishes to pursue. The Westport Lions Club is much more than fundraising.
As I have previously written, my father was very active in the town of Spencerville. His involvement in the community gave him a sense of purpose in life that contributed to a long and satisfying life. One of many things I learned from him was that volunteering improves your quality of life, gives you a purpose, makes you happy, and surrounds you with good, lifelong friends.
I enjoy helping people and seeing people enjoy our lovely beach. To see families play in the sand or young people having fun playing a game of volleyball makes all the hard work feel worthwhile.
Being a Lion makes me happy. In the spring, I called a young mother to inform her that the Westport Lions Club agreed to help send her special needs son to summer camp. She was so happy and appreciative that she started to cry. It was the most feel good phone call I have ever made.
I am proud to be a Lion when a grieving family asks the club to form a honour guard at a funeral or participate in the service. I am proud to be a Lion when I see an appreciative smile on a senior’s face when I hand them a Christmas cake, or the smiles on seniors’ faces when they have the opportunity to get together and share each other’s company at our luncheons. I was proud to be a Lion when we raised over $20,000 to give a person the gift of sight. I am proud to be a Lion when we are able to provide the mobility van service with the help of Elgin Lions Club and community volunteers.
The benefits of being a member of the Westport Lions Club far exceed the work you will put into the club. If you want to know more about our club or about becoming a member, you can ask any Lion for information, attend any of our meetings, browse our website (westportlions.ca), or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.