We started the 2020-21 Lions year partly in limbo with a lot of uncertainty. Regardless of the challenges presented by Covid, and the fact that we had to press pause on projects such as our annual Lions Children Courage Awards and serving breakfast at the Hutt Street Centre, we have achieved so much together as a club over the past year. On average, in total, we have had at least one (1) member attend or participate in 144 activities of some description, whether they be meetings, award ceremonies, cubs club meetings, assisting other clubs or cooking up a storm at one of many many barbecues. That is quite the achievement. This is even more amazing considering how many barbecues and activities were cancelled, and the many that we were unable to assist with and passed onto other Lions Clubs.
Despite the challenges we carried on with meetings, returning to face-to-face each month. We welcomed amazing guest speakers including Andrew Curran from Southern Launch, Amelia and Colleen from Ronald McDonald House, and Rachael Zaltron from Backpack 4 SA Kids, just to name a few. Each was as inspiring as the next.
We jumped on the bandwagon to support the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation’s longest coin line (it’s quite the mouthful), and District Governor Tony’s Big Blue Bucket. Thank you to all the lions who have supported this and filled tins, envelopes and bags with 5 cent pieces and other donations. We hope the foundation can break the world record of 75.24km in November… that’s only about 3 million, 8 hundred and 76 thousand, 3 hundred and 53 five cent pieces, just off the top of my head. So not too many.
We have welcomed new members and friends into our club, and sadly farewelled a few. We have fed the homeless and hungry, and donated 224 blankets. We have provided support and comfort to over 1,478 patients in hospitals and vulnerable youth across South Australia. Donated 1,876 books to 469 children in support of youth literacy with many more now ready to deliver
We have collected and donated over 500 spectacles for Lions Recycle for Sight, collected more books, plastic lids, bread tags, hearing aids and stamps than I could possibly count with most of them in our lounge room or in Marilyn & Tony’s garage (there’s literally no room to move).
We sponsored 2 teachers to attend the Lions Quest program and provided a scholarship to a student attending the Techspace Learning program. We also sponsored another Australian Lions Hearing Dogs foster puppy that we named Maverick for all the Top Gun fans out there. And we can’t forget the weekly Cubs Club meetings with The Little Roarers Cubs Club at Annesley Junior School, and of course the recently chartered Pedare Pride Cubs Club with our friends at the Golden Grove Lions Club. A big thank you to President Annette Slater.
But we didn’t stop there … we donated over $19,000 to various charities and causes, including with the assistance of the Australian Lions Foundation we donated funding to purchase two (2) specialised diabetes machines to Diabetes SA for use in the regional diabetes screening program that our district partnered with them for. Andrew continued with the Lions Get Active program, and almost a quarter of our members participated in the C1 Making Strides project (and just while I think of it, you still have a few days to have your steps counted, and we’re not far behind Port Augusta on the leader board, let’s catch them).
We had a long break from supporting the Hutt Street Centre breakfasts, but last month saw Lion Warren and his team back at the centre for the first time in about 15 months. And they were so glad to be back. We also had an extended break from Fred’s Van but we are back at Gawler Place now and have increased to supporting this project bi-monthly as interest from our members to get involved with this program continues to grow again.
We also ran less hear me roar project working bees than usual, but that didn’t stop our dedicated members from sewing and stuffing at home. I particularly remember before our snap 3 day lockdown Lion Sylvia driving from McLaren Vale to Klemzig to pick up stuffing and material with only a short time to spare before lockdown began just so she could keep busy at home during this time. I’m happy to say she did make it home before curfew … just.
These are just a few of the challenges, highlights and achievements of this past year.
It has been an absolute pleasure and honour to hold the position of club president for a second year. We are a team and I thank each member for your support, advice, ideas, your time and your efforts. Together we make an amazing club. I’d also like to thank our friends and family, and our lion friends from other clubs who also support us and give us a hand when needed. It is truly appreciated.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and they’re certainly not wrong. But I believe it takes a pride of lions and friends to make an impact in our community. Thank you.
Congratulations to this year’s award winners:
- Jump Right In Award: Beatrice Casbarra
- Significant Service Certificates: Sylvia Salagaras, Stephanie Lewis & Andrew Stacey
- President Award: Marilyn Pederick & Ray Najar
- Premier’s Certificate for Outstanding Volunteer Service: Warren Wood & Tony Pederick OAM
- C1 Making Strides Club Leader: Marilyn Pederick
- Club Star Awards (Friends of the Club): Kaleeda Rasheed & Adelaide Hellenic Lions Club
- Lion of the Year (voted by the members): Ray Najar
Congratulations to all recipients.