The Lions Club of Hermitage-Sandyville has issued a press release to the residents of the town stating that if the membership continues to decline and new members are not found, the club will have no alternative but to discontinue functioning as a service organization. This release came about following their most recent meeting in 2012, a meeting at which recruitment of new members was discussed,
Kevin Cox, this year’s King Lion, stated, “We get nine or ten members at a meeting, and half of those are men in their sixties or seventies who have been with the club since it was chartered. We have had only one man join in the last couple of years, and quite frankly with such a small number of active members, it is becoming increasingly difficult to promote the ideals of Lionism and meet the club’s financial commitments.”
It takes a lot of money, of course, to maintain the Community Centre, the site for all of the functions and most of the meetings in the town: the Hydro bill during the winter averages $1400.00 monthly, and the annual insurance is $3800.00. On top of that the club had to spend almost $6000.00 recently for a required electrical upgrade. Also the Lions continue to give back to their community: $2000.00 to the local fire department in the past year and donations annually to the recreation commission, the school, and the local cancer society, to name only a few. On February 28, the Lions will host a super TV Bingo to raise funds to help support Jaden Simms while he attends the conference in Arizona this year, and the list of good things the Lions do in their own town and outside is long.
Their release states,” At this critical time for our club, we are asking the residents of our community to seriously consider the repercussions of losing the Lions and the services they provide. We are also asking that some residents seriously consider this invitation to join the Lions Club- the world’s greatest service organization. Any interested persons are welcome to attend our meetings (first and third Wednesdays of the month) to see what we are about and hopefully to feel the urge to join and help keep Lionism alive in Hermitage-Sandyville.”
The statement ends with a stark reality: “If we fail to recruit new members soon, we will have to face the inevitable – the loss of the Lions Club in our community.” Should that happen, then the community centre would be closed, and the other major service project – the ambulance now run by a governance board of Lions’ members – would have to find a new volunteer committee to oversee the operation (that is what this writer speculates would happen, but he’s not sure). Another possibility mentioned by a member of the Hermitage ambulance committee is that the government would assign the vehicle to Harbour Breton under the governance of their ambulance committee. Other events such as regular and tv bingo, the appreciation dinner for volunteers, and the summer festival – again to name a few – would end as well.
The Coaster will follow events as they unfold and keep residents informed.