20021 Doesn’t Slow Down Westport Lions

Janet Mulville, left, and Lion Jim McGlade, right, present $1,000 cheque to Lion Cory Michel from Athens, the January 1 winner in the Westport Lions’ $10,000 Cash Calendar. 

Westport Lions Roar

By Lion Bob Reddick

COVID-19 did not slow down the activity level of the Westport Lions in 2021. During the pandemic, the club found ways to provide existing and new services for the community.

Here are some of the highlights of 2021. For more information on any of the club’s activities please go to our website (westportlions.ca).

Debbie Doyle started year off by winning the $1,000 New Year’s draw in the Lions $10,000 cash calendar.

In the January 14th edition of The Review-Mirror, Joan Anne Hutchings (Gordon) wrote an article about her fond memories of the Westport Lions from 1947 onward.  In those early years, the Lions Club held its meetings in the dining room of the Lexena (The Cove). Joan Anne can still remember as a young child being scared when the Lions sang their signature song, the “Roar of the Lions.” She believed that there was a pride of lions in that room.

At our first virtual general meeting, Lion Marty Hawkins reported that all 225 tickets were sold in one week for the Big Screen TV Draw.  Marty estimated that 85 percent of the tickets were sold online.  The cost of the television was paid for by Ragu and Sharma from Circle K and was won by Camryn McNamee from Westport. 

During February, the Westport Lions planned future events and celebrated members’ accomplishments.   

The club formulated plans for the Lions’ Reuse & Recycle Centre, fish fry, $1500 spring draw and community gardens. The club’s finance committee revamped the charitable Disbursement Guidelines to provide a process in making non-biased charitable decisions to organizations and individuals consistent with Lions Club mandate and AGCO guidelines. 

Service awards were presented to Lions Marty Hawkins (30 years), Kevin Kardash (10 years) and Jim McGlade (50 years). 

Lion Wayne Bent was presented with four special awards for his outstanding service to the Westport Lions Club and Lionism.  Wayne received the Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest recognition from Lions International Foundation. A gold watch and a trophy were given to Lion Bent to celebrate his 27 years as a Westport Lion.  The final award was in recognition of three terms as club president. 

The club thanked Northland Power for their unsolicited donation of $2,500. Northland Power is a global power producer. Their facilities produce electricity from clean-burning natural gas and renewable resources such as wind and solar power.

In March, the Westport Lions Club presented a $1,000 cheque to Lisa Behme and Ken Rose who spearheaded the Westport Shared program. 

Lion Jim Scala reported that the Reuse & Recycle Centre received 200 donations of large items such as furniture, appliances, building supplies, plus four lots of tools.  The R. & R. Centre has made 60 sales and donated a full 16-foot trailer of dishes and smaller items to the New Life Thrift Store in Westport.  Lion Don Baker announced that all medical equipment is ready to be loaned at the R. & R. Centre.  

In April, the Westport Lions launched their $1500 Cash Spring Draw sponsored by Land Ark Homes.  This sponsorship allowed the club to direct all proceeds to the maintenance of the Lions’ beach and support other community organizations.  The winner of the draw was Richard Tsushima.

The President’s Award was presented to Paul Thorp and Harry Beckett for their outstanding service over the past year.

The club passed a motion to donate a total of $5,900 to nine organizations for the spring disbursements.

In May, the Westport Lions’ goal to create a community garden where people can grow food for themselves, and the Westport Food Bank became a reality.  The productivity of the 18 garden plots, plus the squash and potato patch was outstanding.  The club has room to expand the gardens to another six beds for next year to meet the increased demand. The success of this initiative is the result of members and volunteers working together with businesses and the village of Westport.

The Westport Lions in June maintained the beach, began cleaning up the old Lions’ trailer park site and operated the Reuse & Recycle Centre.  The takeout only fish fry held on June 19 was a huge success.

Joan Wright from Newboro started the July off by winning $500 in the Canada Day calendar draw. 

Lion Bruce Maynard and resident Tom Myatt spearheaded a campaign to distribute 4,000 gypsy moth lures at the Lions’ Recycle & Reuse Centre to combat the infestation.

A group of Lions transported tables and chairs and provided security for the second pop-up vaccination clinic at the WTC Communications Centre.

In August, the Westport Lions Club partnered with Aarde Construction to thank the community for their support during the pandemic by resurrecting Westfest. The music was provided by local musicians at this free, outdoor festival held at the Lions’ beach.  

Our annual awards night was delayed until September due to COVID-19.  Over the years the Westport Lions Club has relied increasingly on volunteers to meet the demands of our expanding service projects.  This year the club decided to formally recognize Jeannette Harper and Penny Warriner as our top volunteers.

Jeannette Harper is the most active member of our volunteer group.  She provides the meals for our meetings and is the club photographer. Jeannette posts online pictures of items for sale at the Reuse & Recycle Centre and of club events.   She helps to distribute Christmas cakes to seniors, is one of our top sellers of tickets and calendars and is an active member of the Lions’ community garden and R. & R. Centre.   

Penny Warriner received an Outstanding Volunteer Award for chairing our $10,000 Cash Calendar fundraiser. She also helped at several Lion events like the fish fry. 

To be continued next week.

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