Postponements, cancellations, and adaptations are things that all community groups have been facing when it comes to their activities and initiatives over the last two years. If we know one thing about these groups, though, it’s that they are versatile and they always look out for the people in their communities.
The Knowlton Lions Club has faced the postponement of many of its traditional events and activities, but that hasn’t stopped the group from giving back.
For the past two years, the Lions Club has had to cancel its community-wide garage sale that usually takes place the second weekend of June, its Veterans’ Day brunch, and its annual Christmas parade.
“We scratched our heads and said what could we do for the community and keep things interesting?” said John Staton, president of the club.
In the end, they decided to use photos of past activities to create a jigsaw puzzle contest.
“We created jigsaw puzzles from those photos. We gave them out to each of the six winners. We created more puzzles and gave them to the seniors’ residence. It was a nice activity and we are hoping to do something along that line again, but we haven’t done it yet this year.”
The Lions also started a program in collaboration with the Pettes Memorial Library.
“We started a program of delivering library books. If people can’t get to library, or they’re in a seniors’ residence, being isolated, you just have them call and members of the Lions Club will bring the books and pick them up when finished.”
The club also sent out cards to people in the community.
“We started a program where we sent Valentines cards to seniors who may be alone, and we wrote little notes. We did that again this year with Christmas cards to seniors in residences and to other people who may be alone.”
They also didn’t forget about those working on the front lines.
“We had a front line workers appreciation project, and Tim Hortons pitched in with some gift cards and we bought a load of gift cards for coffee and donuts and handed them out to first responders, people in the schools. All front-line workers are really valuable, but we thought there were a lot of front-line workers out there that get missed.”
While they couldn’t have their annual Christmas parade again this year, the group found a way to get Santa to Brome Lake. “What we did was a Santa Claus drive-by where we got Santa Claus on Old Betsy, the antique fire engine maintained by the town, to go right around to the schools, daycares, and seniors’ residences and he waved and put on a show. We did that on Dec. 21.”
The longstanding Christmas basket campaign also got modified for 2021. Usually the Lions set up pallets of food at Knowlton Academy and each person takes a basket and fills it to match their needs, but this year the club decided to give gift cards to the IGA instead for safety reasons.
“And every year, part of the program is to give gifts for children. We collect them from the United Church and different groups. We felt we couldn’t do that safely so we decided to give gift certificates for children under 10 to Brome Lake books because they have educational books and toys for children to enjoy.”
Despite not being able to go about their activities like they used to, Staton said they’re always looking for new ways to support their community.
“Behind the scenes we are helping individuals and families. We provide financial support if someone really needs it.”
Staton also said that anyone looking for support, whether personal financial support or support for community projects, can always reach to the Lions Club.
“We pride ourselves on being able to see the needs in the community, individual and public, and get in there and get things happening.”
The Lions Club can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at Box 3766 Knowlton, Quebec.
In the meantime, the group is wrapping up its financial campaign and is always looking for support.
Donations can be made to: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/knowlton-lions-club-charitable-trust-fund/