Lions Stay Busy in 2021

Lion Wayne Bent, right, presents a cheque to librarian Pam Stuffles in support of the Westport Library.

Westport Lions Roar

By Lion Bob Reddick

Continued from last week

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).

President Citation Awards were given to Cheryl Couper Scala and Jim Scala for making the Reuse & Recycle Centre a reality under the difficult circumstances of COVID-19.  G. Tackaberry and Sons generously loaned the building located at 5295 Salem Road for the club to use.  The R. & R. Centre has received approximately 1,500 items donated by the community, resulting in over 1,000 items being sold. The Westport Lions metal and e-waste recycling and medical equipment loans are located at the same site.      

Lion Marty Hawkins received a President’s Citation for chairing the television draw, organizing Westfest and overseeing several catering endeavours.  Marty was a key contact in the Westport Cares initiative to provide support to those in need during the pandemic. Finally, you can always count on Marty to be the number one salesperson and supporter of Lion activities. 

The third 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.    

Lion Bob Reddick received the Lion of the Year award. 

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.

In October, Lions Gary Warriner and David Blair were honoured by receiving the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship.  This worldwide award, named after Melvin Jones, the founder of Lions, is the highest form of recognition and embodies the humanitarian ideas and purpose of Lionism. 

There have been six individuals in the history of the Westport Lions Club who have received the Melvin Jones Fellowship: Lions Wayne Bent, Jim McGlade, Marty Hawkins, Gary Warriner, David Blair, and volunteer Lucille Bresee.

Katie Egolf, Lisa Colford and Barb Fritz shared the first prize in the $10,000 elimination draw. 

 The Lions Beach had another successful, attendance-breaking year.  Additional trees were planted, and the gazebo got needed repairs, a new roof, and a fresh coat of paint.   The Westport Lions thank beach patrons for respecting the property and taking their garbage out with them.  It took nine Lions and 11 volunteers to maintain the facilities this year. 

As the pandemic continued, the Westport Lions cancelled their traditional Santa Claus parade for this year.  However, Santa agreed to visit Westport to bring cheer to young and old alike.  Chris Hagan volunteered to take Santa around town with his team of horses and everyone enjoyed the music, hotdogs, and hot chocolate at St. Edward’s parking lot.

2021 was a year of giving for the Westport Lions.   With the success of online sales, sponsorships, support from the community and the hard work from the membership, the club was able to exceed all previous sales records for all our lotteries. The Westport Lions donated a total of $48,370 for 2021.  A breakdown of that amount consisted of $5,900 for the spring disbursement, $16,470 in fall donations and to celebrate our 75 anniversary the club donated $25,000 to create a new palliative care room at the Perth site of the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital. 

On December 4, 350 Christmas cakes were delivered to area seniors. 

The Westport and Elgin Lions Clubs took over this year’s toy drive from long-time coordinator Melinda Held Cowan.  Westport Lion volunteer Jan Gagnon reports that 26 children from Westport and Newboro received gifts from this year’s drive.  Jan wants to thank Martha and Neil Kudrinko, Country Roads Community Health Unit, Westport and Newboro United Church, St. Mary’s Anglican Church and Rideau Vista Public School for their assistance.  

In 2021 the Westport Lions added eleven new members, Danny Lewis, Cheryl Couper Scala, Aaron Badour, April Baird, Julie-Anne Baird, Barb Fritz, Joanne O’Neill, Kim Kelly, John Ross, and Glenn Wilcox.  Lion Barry Winfield transferred to our club from Gananoque. All the new members have been active in club activities and the club wishes them success in their journey in Lionism.   

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 engaged 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 main takeaway from all the club’s successful initiatives is that everything the Westport Lions accomplished this year is the result of community support, volunteers, local businesses, and the Village of Westport. 

May the New Year bring you good health, happiness, peace, and prosperity.  Happy New Year.


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