Lions roar into town

Eric Sparling
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Sonny Foster and Tom Fisher


AMHERST – The Lions Club is empty on a Thursday afternoon. The calm before the storm.

“Some clubs have lost money doing this,” said Tom Fisher.

The Amherst club is hosting an annual gathering for the province’s club members. More than 200 Lions will converge on Amherst this weekend for fellowship, business and remembrance.

“Six months we’ve been at it,” said Fisher, presenting file folders with planning documents: registration, motels, catering, halls, transportation.

Fisher is the chairman for the convention, which rotates between clubs each year. Amherst has no intention of losing money on the event, of course. The $11,000 cost will be paid by participants.

The plan for the weekend breaks down into fun on Friday, business on Saturday, and a worship service to remember lost members on Sunday. Francis Smith was the president of the Amherst club when he died of cancer this past December.

Some of the community’s young people will join the activities Saturday in a “speak out” contest, held at 10:15 a.m. at Spring Street Academy.

Lion Sonny Foster was also part of the conversation.

“We put in excess of $100,000 a year into the community,” he said. Amherst’s club will be donating $1,000 on the weekend.

Saturday’s business will include an election for 2nd Vice District Governor. Parrsboro’s president - that club's web-site indicates Frank Hartman is the King Lion - is running for the position, according to the two.

The Lions are the largest service club in the world, according to the men, and its principle cause is sight. Guide dog training receives Lion support. The keynote speaker for the convention will be Chris Fowler, a leader in the development of autism support dogs. Under his direction, over 170 dogs have been placed in Canadian homes.

Organizations: Lions Club, Street Academy

Geographic location: AMHERST

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