OXFORD, N.S. – The Oxford Lions Club as an organization has something in common with famed U.S. author Mark Twain.
Rumours of their demise are greatly exaggerated.
The club, which was left reeling after the development of a sinkhole in its park last summer, hosted its sixth Breakfast with Santa on Saturday and the people came out to show their support.
“The level of support in this community is just amazing,” club secretary Neil Rideout said. “From Floyd Dickie and Sons, to the Oxford Fire Department and the Egg Producers of Nova Scotia we’ve had a tremendous event.”
The sinkhole shut the club out of its community centre and forced it to remove its playground equipment from the park while also restricting access to swimming in the lake. There were concerns whether the club would survive the financial pressures being placed on them and a Go Fund Me campaign didn’t seem to grab hold in the community.
Rideout, however, said the club is not going anywhere anytime soon.
“We’re still out there in the community raising money and giving. We’re still holding our bingo and we will hopefully be in a position next year to go back to the park and the centre,” Rideout said. “Even if we can’t we’re committed to putting the playground back in place somewhere in the community.”
While the club was expecting a couple of hundred at its breakfast, they found themselves running to the store to buy more supplies as people kept coming through the door. Children were able to decorate their pancakes with bananas, Smarties, peanuts, Marshmallow Fluff, Nutella and sprinkles. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Oxford without blueberry sauce and maple syrup.
Floyd Dickie and Sons, who are members of the Egg Producers organization contributed $3,000 to the club and Rideout said the first $1,000 raised during the breakfast is earmarked for the club’s annual Christmas boxes project to make sure everyone in the community has a Christmas dinner.
The remainder will go into the fund to rebuild the park.
Rideout said the club has saw lots of negatives in the past four months, but said it’s nice to be able to talk about something positive.
“We haven’t backed off on our giving one bit and we’re going to continue giving and serving the community,” Rideout said. “We’re alive and well.”