Penny Warriner, top, and Jeannette Harper are two of Westport Lions outstanding volunteers.
Westport Lions Roar
By Lion Bob Reddick
The Westport Lions Club held its first meeting of the new Lion year by giving out individual awards. After an outstanding meal prepared by Jeannette Harper and Marty Hawkins, President Michael Harris presided over the presentation of awards.
Outstanding Volunteer Awards were presented to Penny Warriner and Jeannette Harper. The Westport Lions Club has increasingly relied upon volunteers in the last couple of years. Penny and Jeannette have shown that volunteers can be a valuable resource to the club and can be relied on to chair club activities.
Penny Warriner took over one of the club’s major fund-raising activities, the $10,000 Cash Calendar. This monumental task was previously chaired by a Lion member, but Penny has taken being a volunteer to a new level. In addition, Penny has worked at several Lion events, such as the annual fish fry.
Jeannette Harper is the most active member of the Westport Lions volunteer group. She provides the meals for our general meetings and is the club’s photographer. Jeannette takes pictures of our activities and items for sale on our Re-Use and Recycle Facebook page. Plus, she is part of the community garden team and takes a regular shift at R. & R. Centre. Jeannette, along with Janet Mulville and Lion Dorothy Maynard chair the distribution of Christmas cakes to seniors. Jeannette is one of the top sellers of calendars and tickets and has embraced online selling. The club is lucky to have these two volunteers and others like them.
The first President’s Citation Award was given to Lion Cheryl Couper-Scala. Cheryl partnered with her husband Lion Jim Scala as they overcame many hurdles to make the Re-Use and Recycle Centre a reality. This start-up endeavour was made even more difficult by the pandemic restrictions.
President Michael pointed out that the Re-Use and Recycle Centre provided an unexpected recruitment vehicle for the club. The centre gave us a storefront presence in the community and attracted several new members, first as customers, and then as volunteers and members.
Another President’s Citation Award went to Lion Jim Scala, who conceived the Re-Use and Recycle Centre and worked hard to make his idea a reality. As a result of Jim’s dedication to his vision, and his ability to mobilize and motivate 19 Lions and volunteers, the R. & R. Centre has proven to be a valuable service to the community and a source of revenue for the club.
Lion Marty Hawkins was given a President’s Citation Award for chairing the flat-screen television draw in the spring, organizing the summer barbeque and the successful 2021 Westfest music festival. Marty was a key contact in the Westport Cares initiative to provide support to those in need during the pandemic. You can always count on Marty to be the number one salesperson and supporter of Lion activities.
The final President’s Citation Award went to Lion Rene´ Reynen for his initiative called Lion Treats. This service sold ice cream, chips, and drinks at the Lions’ Beach and was enjoyed by many.
The Lion of the Year was presented to Lion Bob Reddick for his work in informing the community of Lion activities through The Review-Mirror, Facebook, and the Club’s website. Bob and his team established the Westport Lions Community Garden to grow fresh vegetables for donation to the food bank. Lion Bob, along with 16 other volunteers and Lions worked tirelessly this summer to maintain the Lions beach for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
As Lion Jim McGlade pointed out from his discussions with several clubs in our district, “Other clubs were amazed that the Westport Lions Club was able to be so active during COVID-19. Some of these clubs suspended all or most of their activities during the pandemic.” The Westport Lions Club carried out all their regular activities and added three new initiatives.
The award recipients were singled out for their initiative, organizational and leadership skills, but in every Lion project, there is a team of individuals that work behind the scenes to make sure the endeavour is successful. It is through the hard work of volunteers and dedicated Lions that the Westport Lions Club has been, and will continue to be, successful and a key part of the Westport and Newboro communities.