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Aylesford Lions looking for new blood to help bolster dwindling membership


Published on September 7, 2017

Aylesford and District Lions Club King Lion Fred Huntley hopes that an upcoming open house will help recruit some new members.

©Kirk Starratt

AYLESFORD, NS - Membership means an opportunity to make a significant charitable contribution to the community and on a global scale.

The Aylesford and District Lions Club is embarking on a membership drive that will include an open house at the hall in Auburn on Oct. 28. The event will feature membership information, a tour of the hall to see the many renovations undertaken to date, refreshments, balloons for the kids and more.

Aylesford and District Lions Club King Lion Fred Huntley said their membership is currently at 22 and there are 16 active members, two of which are currently on medical leave. Huntley would like to have in excess of 30 healthy, active members. Most current members are in their 60’s and there are a couple in their 90’s. Mobility is an issue for some.

He said they’re privileged to have one prospective new member who is a 29-year-old woman and the club is looking to recruit more people to join. Prospective members should be principled people with respect for the club and the good work it does locally and around the world.

“Membership just doesn’t happen because you want to join, we also want to make sure it’s going to be a quality person who is able to commit to it,” Huntley said. “We have to have people that we can count on.”

Prospective members should be willing to volunteer their time and skills, as those involved don’t benefit monetarily and there are membership fees for Lions International to consider. The club pays a part-time janitor to help clean the hall but this is the only paid position.

They’re looking for volunteers with a broad range of skills, from people willing to help peel potatoes or paint walls to those willing to volunteer business and management skills.

“We have a lot of openings in terms of chairing some of our projects right now, we need a few gaps filled,” Huntley said. “We are here to provide a service.”

Huntley moved back to Nova Scotia from Calgary in 2008 and joined the Aylesford Lions about two-and-a-half years ago. He was invited to explore Lions membership by a fellow member of the United Church, Charlie Ross, who told Huntley that the club needed help.

Huntley said he was looking for a change and ended up joining the club. He said he feels well respected by the members, who have entrusted him with the role of King Lion.

He said the club holds business meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month and there is a dinner meeting on the third Wednesday. They also have occasional picnics and barbecues during the warmer weather months. Huntley said he finds the social aspect of membership rewarding and it helped him become integrated with the community.

Did you know?

-       The Aylesford and District Lions Club Membership Information Open House takes place at the club’s hall at 2160 Highway 1 in Auburn on Oct. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 902-341-2148.

-       Huntley wants to create a registry of people who may not necessarily want to become full members but who are willing to help by donating time, skills and efforts to the ongoing hall renovations, dinners or Lions projects.

-       One current project is sponsoring a guide dog. The fundraising goal is $6,000. The club raised $2,800 through a recent road toll.

-       Lions International is celebrating its centennial in 2017.