Good Evening Lions, Family and Friends. Another year has passed us in the blink of an eye.
We started the 2021-22 Lions year still partly in limbo with a lot of uncertainty due to Covid. We started the year celebrating our club’s 60th anniversary last year in late June. What a special occasion it was, celebrating our club’s history and sharing it with lions from across our district.
Although we’ve certainly had our challenges, and yes in part due to Covid, we have been fortunate to have had a minimal impact on our projects and only a few events cancelled, enabling us to continue supporting the community and getting together face-to-face.
Unfortunately, we have seen a drop in members over the past year due to changing priorities of some, career changes with hours restricting involvement and the impact of covid placing financial pressure on others, we’ve also seen members moving interstate and overseas, illness or passing away, including our friend, Lion Graham Higgs. But we have also welcomed new members who have jumped headfirst into participating in meetings, projects and events. Our membership currently stands at 52
On average, in total, we have had at least one (1) member attend or participate in 382 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.
With a zoom meeting and last minute cancellations from guest speakers due to illness, we only welcomed a few guest speakers in the past year, but each as inspiring as the next. These included Chris McDermott from the Little Heroes Foundation, Sandra and Trixie from Story Dogs, John Chambers from Angel Flight, and Captain Rod Lovell, author of Hero to Zero.
We have fed the homeless and hungry at the Hutt Street Centre breakfasts and Fred’s Van, and donated 466 blankets across Adelaide. We have provided support and comfort to over 535 patients and vulnerable youth across South Australia. Donated 1,056 books to 264 children in support of youth literacy. We have a couple hundred cushions and port pillows ready to be delivered in the next few weeks. And in the past couple of months we have collected over 4,000 children’s books and our new bags, all 1,200 of them, that were kindly donated by the Department of Education, have just arrived ready for our next big Hear Me Roar! Project working bee later this month.
It was an honour for our club to be awarded the Kindness Matters Award at Multiple District Level, and then to go forward to be one of 30 clubs worldwide to receive the international award. Thank you to everyone who continues to put countless hours into the project and support it.
We have collected and donated over 2,612 spectacles for Lions Recycle for Sight, collected thousands of bread tags and hearing aids. And then there’s our stamp collection. We have received thousands upon thousands of stamps to help raise funds for the Australian Lions Children’s Mobility Foundation. They’ve literally come from everywhere. Across South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales. We’ve even received a parcel from England filled with donated stamps. Earlier this year, we sent off 40kg of clipped and sorted stamps and just last week Marilyn and Tony sent off another 45kg. I won’t share the reply I got when I asked Tony to count the stamps for even more accurate record keeping. An amazing effort led by Tony, Marilyn and Sylvia.
We sponsored another 2 teachers to attend the Lions Quest program and provided a scholarship to a student attending the Techspace Learning program. And we can’t forget the weekly Cubs Club meetings with The Little Roarers Cubs Club at Annesley Junior School and Pedare Pride Cubs Club at Pedare Christian College. A big thank you to Lion Nikki and Golden Grove Lion Annette.
But we didn’t stop there … we also saw our Australian Lions Hearing foster puppy, Maverick, go through training and become accredited. He is now living in Maverick fulfilling his role as a hearing assistance dog. While we love gorgeous dogs, we also sponsored Cherry from Story Dogs, who listens intently to children reading in primary schools.
We held our first Christmas Spirit event, decorating Lions mini Christmas cakes which were delivered to the Hutt Street Centre for Christmas whilst raising funds for the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation. A big thank you to Lion Beatrice for your expertise and guidance. It was a very successful event.
We raised over $26,000 and donated $22,000 to various causes and charities.
Although the goal of finding a home and an op shop hasn’t been reached yet, a temporary storage solution is in place until it happens. But progress has been made in the search, particularly by Tony and Ray. Fingers crossed we keep moving closer to making this a reality.
These are just a few of the challenges, highlights and achievements of this past year.
Over the past few months, I’ve had my own challenges due to illness, the flu and close contact rules. I was very disappointed to have been absent from several meetings and special events. Certainly not what I had envisioned for the end of my term as president. Thank you to those members who stepped in to fulfil my role in my absence.
It has been an absolute pleasure and honour to hold the position of club president for the past three years. To my family; my parents, Andrew, and our girls, thank you for your support and putting up with my crazy ideas, such as our Club Christmas videos and activities, and enabling me to put the time I have into all things lions. Without you, I couldn’t have fulfilled this role as I have. Andrew, you are my rock, keep me grounded and sane, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I’d like to thank each of you, our lion members, families and friends, for your support, advice, ideas, time and efforts. It has been appreciated, and I have certainly learnt a lot and continue to do so. Together as a team, we have achieved so much and continue to build an even stronger club.
And finally, Lion Ray, our incoming President. We have a strong and passionate club, with dedicated members and great ideas, and I know you have many more of your own to share. I look forward to working with you as you lead our club during the coming year and know that we are all in good hands with you at the helm.