From the Lions Den September, 2017
The members have been busy with burgers, tents, tables and chairs this past August for private functions as well as the Fall Fair. Our Ad in this issue details our famous Salmon BBQ coming up on Sept. 3rd.
This column is mainly focussing on an interview with our new President, Allen Slade.
Q. How long on Island, and how long as a Lion?
A. We bought on the island about 10 years ago and have been pretty well full time since 2014, and I joined the Lions at that time. This was about the time I retired from my business in Brand Development in the Outdoor Industry.
Q. What attracted you to accept nomination as President?
A. While still a “new” Lion the Board approached me to fill the vacant 1st. VP position. During my business life, corporate fund-raising for environmental groups was part of my professional role, but I had never been involved with volunteerism and saw how essential it was to Island life. The work of the Lions was impressive, and I felt that I could serve and perhaps contribute some new ideas.
Q. What do you see as the Lions’ greatest contribution to Island life?
A. There is a long list. One of the most visible is the Event rental program where Lions set up tents, tables and chairs for island events like weddings, concerts and community functions. The Lions Mayne Island phone book is a major contributor and involves an incredible effort by Lion volunteers. Lions run several events throughout the year: Bingo nights, Summerfest, Charter night, Single Seniors Christmas Dinner, Mayne Islander of the Year, and the Santa Ship. The Lions award an annual scholarship to Grade 12 students to help support post-secondary education. The Lions were also responsible for the building of the Adachi Pavilion in Dinner Bay Park, and members still maintain that facility.
I am especially pleased by the many co-operative events where Lions team up with other Island groups, like the Terry Fox Society, (Terry Fox Run), ST. Mary Magdalene Church, (Church Fair), Recycling Depot, (eyeglass collection), Agricultural Society, (Fall Fair), Canadian Legion, (Canada Day), RCMP, (Bike Rodeo), Japanese Garden Society, (Christmas Light-up and take-down), M. I. Quilters’ Guild, (Days for Girls), and several other youth initiatives.
Each year our 222 Draw raises funds for other island groups. Last year it was MIALS, (M. I. Assisted Living) and this year it will be the Food Bank. From time to time, we’ll team up for events where major funding is required. In 2016 we did so with MIALS for the Kraft Dinner Cook-off, where a considerable contribution was made to compensate for their lost major funding.
Q. What do you see as the biggest challenges for the Lions over the next few years?
A. Aging membership and increasing financial and time demands on limited resources are the challenges which come to mind.
Q. Who is eligible to become a Lion?
A. Any Mayne Islander, (male or female). They need to be sponsored by a current member. Our present membership is 49.
Q. What are the expectations once one becomes a Lion?
A. Ideally, a Lion should be attached to one of the ongoing projects such as event set-up, or organizing things like Bingo, Salmon BBQ, Phone Book, Canada Day, Church Fair, Ball Games.
Q. Where do the Lions derive their revenue and how is this spent?
A. Our funding comes from the annual membership fee of $50.00 so we rely heavily on our fund-raising projects and events to maintain our significant number of contributions to the community.
Q. What contributions would you like to make during your time as President?
A. Attracting more young people and couples to join the Lions is essential for our future. I would also like to see strong membership links to other island organizations, beyond those which already exist.
Many thanks for your time and information.
Interview conducted by:
Lion Dave Chase.