After 5 long years of hard work, the Kirkland Lake Lions have progressed from a branch club to a full-fledged Lions club. What a journey of hard work and dedication and isn’t that what Lions are all about.
It all started in 2018 when then District Governor Lion Verner Presse and 3 other PDG’s went door to door to find interested persons in getting a Lions club re-started in their area. The original Lions club closed in 2009 and the community hasn’t had a Lions presence since.
Let’s walk with these Lions while they made their journey from branch to full club. In the 2018/2019 year, the club had 9 members and were a branch to the Charlton-Englehart club. One of the first things the Kirkland Lake Club did was to help clean up a local grocery store so that they could re-open after a fire. As a thank you, the store donated baskets to the Lions for their 1st fundraiser, tickets on a draw. They also gave the Lions the space to sell the tickets. The club also manned the kettles for the Salvation
Army at Christmas.
In February of 2019, they hosted their first Family Day event in conjunction with the Winter Carnival. They wanted to revive the memories they had as children growing up in the north. It was the coldest week of February in years!
From late 2019 to early 2021, the club gained in numbers and they inched their way up to 13 club members. During this time came the dreaded shutdowns and unprecedented worldly events called Covid. Thanks to modern technology, they managed to keep in touch with members by hosting meetings online and good old Facebook chat groups. They also had a great idea to keep engaged with the community by hosting online events.
One such event was called “Social Isolation Distraction”, in which they purchased $50.00 grocery gift cards and held draws from Facebook posts.
An example of that was to nominate someone you felt went above and beyond for others. The community loved the distraction and this gave them something good to talk about.
Another event was the online Stuff-A-Bear for a Kid fundraiser. Using advertising on their Facebook page, people could sponsor a stuffed bear that went to North Eastern Ontario Family and Children’s Services children.
They had a total of 100 sponsors sign up to provide bears to kids. The local senior residencies, TPR and Extendicare, came on board. The seniors had a project to stuff and dress the stuffed animals that were purchased.
They also hosted their first Trade-A-Can for a Cone fundraiser. Joining forces with CJ’s Drive In and our local car club, The Road Legends Cruisers, they raised just under $500, along with a truck bed full of food for the Salvation Army Food Bank.
Climbing out of 2021, the Lions were at 15 members and moving into 2022, they rose to 17 members. So close yet still so far away. During 2022, the club was fortunate to have many hands that came along with the new members, to which they were able to create sub-committees to run some great fundraisers, such as Breakfast with the Easter Bunny.
THEN IN DECEMBER 2022, they swore in 3 new members. THEY DID IT!! 20 Members!! MAKING IT OFFICIAL!! As of March 2023, the Kirkland Lake Lions Club officially became the newest club in District A5. Due to other obligations, they decided to celebrate their charter night in October 2023.
This amazing club has had a long journey, but the trip has been worth the effort. The Kirkland Lake Lions are an inspiration to all of Lions in their determination to become a club and make a difference in their community.
Congratulations Kirkland Lake Lions.