Pictured is the Lions Club of St. Marys during their 2015 Christmas party at the Queens Inn in Stratford. Back row, from left, are Rob Stuart, Barry Brebner, Marianne Ferguson, Bill Galloway, Sylvia Galloway, Luke DeBrabendere, Santa John, President Bill McNeight, Leo Advisor Raymond Taylor, David Lloyd, Bob McGregor. Second row: Ron Annet, Larry McClelland, Janis Murray, PDG Karen McKneight, Georgina McGregor, Evelyn Albers, PDG Jim Loucks, Larry Ford, PID Bruce Murray. Seated are Secretary Jill Haliburton and Tom Skinner. Absent were: Gerry Haliburton, Kris and Dan McCurdy, Harold and Doris May, Maria Lush and Charlie Albers.
By Samantha Mills
The Lions Club of St. Marys was founded seventy-six years ago, sponsored by its Stratford counterpart. Its first meeting was held in what was then the Royal Edward Hotel, located next to the M&M Craft Shop, and chartered with only 45 members. They have been doing fantastic work for our community ever since.
True to their mission statement, the “Knights of the Blind,” work to support individuals in need with glasses, wheelchairs, qualified personnel equipped with seizure response and diabetic alerts, as well as Seeing Eye Dogs, all free of charge. The Lions Club also supports various elements of the community such as the Skate Park, Lighting of the Lights, St. Marys Museum, the St. Marys Library and the hospital foundation’s Someone I Know campaign.
At the moment, they have two notable projects on the go. For one, they are diligently working on raising the funds needed to revitalize Cadzow Park. For the other, they are working with the Monkton Lions and the Avon Maitland District School Board in order to perform ‘Sight and Hearing Screening’ for junior and senior kindergarten classes throughout the district schools.
Working alongside local churches and other service clubs, the Lions Club helps regularly to provide community meals.
For youth between the ages of 12-18 years old wishing to get involved in their community while developing leadership skills and participating in events in accordance to their interest, there is the St. Marys Leo Club, which the Lions Club proudly supports. The Leo Club aids in a number of community activities from the Heritage Festival to the Santa Claus Parade, with all the fun that comes along them.
For more information about the St. Marys Leo Club, visit their website at e-leoclubhouse.org/sites/stmarys. The St. Marys Leo Club meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at St. Marys DCVI at 7:00 pm.
All adults who may be interested in joining or supporting the Lions Club are invited to visit their website at e-clubhouse.org/sites/stmaryson, or drop into one of their meetings at the Golden Pond Restaurant, at 4252 Queen St East, where they meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.