2017 has not been a good year for lions, firstly the Adelaide Zoo’s female lion YIZI died in September, then the Elizabeth lion (Holden) was left to close by its backers.
However the Keith Lions, which formed nearly 50 years ago with as many as 40 members at one time, is continuing on with greatly reduced numbers.
As a result, members have decided the long standing tradition of doing a ‘run’ around the town’s streets offering Christmas cakes and puddings, will not continue this year.
Having started many years ago with the assistance of a sleigh and members from Aberfoyle Lions Club, they covered the many kilometres of houses in the township area and it was a joyous and rewarding evening.
The traditional Lions Christmas cakes and puddings will be sold alongside the tickets for the Grocery Raffle on the street outside IGA.
This will occur from time to time leading up to Christmas and they are also available at the Keith Post Office and Bendigo Bank.
One of the Keith Lions Club standing orders is that 90 per cent of funds raised from barbecues, BBQ hire, raffles, Christmas Cakes and Puddings, is to be spent in the local area.
A great proportion of that has gone to the Keith and District Hospital in recent years, but the club also supports many other projects throughout each year.
The Lions Youth of the Year competition is well supported by the Year 12 students at the Keith Area School with very high numbers participating in 2017, March next year will see Keith Lions hosting the regional finals of the competition.
The club also supports the mid-year Literacy Awards and end of year Scholarships at Keith Area School, in 2017 the “Bob Jose Award” to local first year apprentices totalled over $2,000.
The other ten per cent largely goes to Lions projects, for example Lions Eye Health, Lions Prostate Research, Lions Hearing Dogs and Lions International.
Last month member Leon Clark was pleased to present the Keith Area School with a Hearing Amplifier for use in a classroom by a hearing impaired student.
Valued at over $1500, it is only one small part of the one million dollars of hearing assistance provided by Lions Australia this year, funded by corporate donations.
Keith Lions is fortunate to have its own ‘den’ in the well-positioned RSL Hall and would welcome new members to serve in our community. A call is sent out to community members to consider joining this socially active club and add to the life of your town.
Earlier this year members with the aid of a front end loader and chainsaws, removed the shelters from over the seats and tables in the Lions Park in Keith.
Having been erected in the early years of the Keith Club, time had resulted in deterioration to the extent that the council recommended they be removed and that council will replace them in this budget year.
In the early years of Keith Lions Club when members were younger and fitter, they paved ‘miles’ of the footpaths in Keith streets as a money raiser.
Fortunately with OHSW it means members are not as involved in such ‘work’.
However with the upgrade at the Lions Park, the club has decided to offer a contribution of $5000 towards the development of a dog exercise area in the park for the use of travellers and locals alike.
This will be in consultation and with the cooperation of the Tatiara District Council.