Amherst Lions Club celebrating 60 years of service

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1954. Who would have thought that we would be where we are 60 years ago when the Amherst Lions Club received their charter to start a service club in Amherst.

Where we are today is thanks to the vision that these men of yesterday had.

Various fundraising projects were started to help others - light bulb sales and mint sales to name just two. The Lions were involved in projects such as beauty contests, hockey, films and various ticket sales.

Lion Ivan Swetnam was the first president and since then we have had 59 including the present King Lion Phil Baxter.

People in Amherst know the Lions for bingo but the Lions are and have been involved with the Highland Fling, The Salvation Army, Drug Awareness, VON and this year the first MADD Road Rally plus many others.

Thru our many projects the Lions Club has become a well respected organization in our community. This can be attested to by our involvement with Town Hall (West Highland School for one), the police, the RCMP, schools and various individuals, too many to name.

Thanks to the support of our community the Lions Club is able to generate over $100,000 each year back into the community.

Important past projects have included the YMCA, first funding a study to see if one was needed and would be used, secondly providing funds to help with the building of, and with the Lioness Club providing funds for a family room at the past hospital.

As we celebrate our 60th year we need to look back at our past history and see how we have grown. Today the driving force that started this club is still very much on hand. Today's Lions volunteer as much as 500 hours each month in club involvement.

The torch of those first Lions was passed on to our elder Lions, Cecil Small and Art Foster who have dedicated much of their lives to maintaining the goals of the Club. Also, Lions Rubin Millard and Richard Stanley, Rubin with his involvement in the sight program, Richard with his generous gift to our kitchen and with his involvement in all things club. All of our other Lions bring something special to our club.

At this time we should remember our past with pride, then see where we are today and finally plan ahead for the future so that we can always be of service.    

- Submitted by Lion Tom Fisher

Organizations: Amherst Lions Club, The Salvation Army, West Highland School RCMP YMCA Lioness Club

Geographic location: Amherst

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