The Lions Club of Nelson is looking for new members and will be holding a membership drive throughout the month of March.
The club, which is celebrating its 70th year of serving the community, currently has 22 members and the modest goal is to add five more by the end of the month.
“I would recommend that anyone interested in becoming a member should come to a couple of meetings and check it out,” said Travis Nakken president of the Lions Club of Nelson.
The group meets the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Hume Hotel. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and the next one is set for March 18.
Nakken has been a Lions member for four years and said he knows that once people get involved, they will enjoy the experience.
“I joined the Lions Club because both my grandfathers were Lions members for big chunks of their lives and in my upbringing, I was always brought up in a service club environment,” he explained.
His mother was in the Eagles and his father is a member of the Fruitvale Lions Club
Nakken thought about joining for years but he said the usual questions popped into his mind — “When do I do it?, how do I find the time?”
But four years ago, Nakken bought some firewood during a Nelson Lions Club fundraiser and he noticed something.
“There were no young people. It was all older guys and I thought this club needs some young blood,” said the 38-year-old.
He joined up the next week.
“We are trying to find new, younger people. People with energy who have a desire to help this community grow, to help the Lions grow,” he said.
The club does a lot for the community of Nelson said Nakken, pointing to Lion’s Park in uphill.
“It’s busy year round with kids. We have the ice rink every winter and the spray park in the summer.”
Volunteers work hard to prepare the ice rink and shovel the snow to maintain the facility throughout the winter.
They also supply playground equipment and a ball park.
“People don’t realize the work we do.”
The group raises funds through telethons, pancake breakfasts and firewood sales as well as Christmas tree collecting. The money is put back into the community.
Each year the group hands out about $14,000 in grants.
The membership drive will take place throughout March. Every Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., member will be at the Chahko Mika Mall promoting membership. They will also hold a raffle for a dollhouse. The house is on display in the display cabinet by the bus stop on Ward Street.
Nelson Lions Club Gives Grants to Local Organizations:
This is the fifth year of the club’s community grant program which is funded through the club’s investment in the Osprey Community Foundation. The funds originated from a bequest to the club by the late Hillary Harper of Kootenay Bay. This year the Osprey investment has resulted in over $6,000 being available for local organizations.
The Lions Club accepts applications for the community grants each year and a club committee assesses the applications and makes recommendations to the club for fund dispersal.
This year’s grant recipients are:
West Kootenay Women’s Association (Nelson & District Women’s Centre) $750 in support of the drop-in centre.
Capitol Theatre Restoration Society $1,000 for Summer Kids Series Program.
Kootenay Christian Fellowship $500 towards funding for kitchen equipment and kitchen skills program.
KidSport Nelson $1,000 which will be used to support disadvantaged youth participating in local sports.
Nelson Music Festival Association $500 helping fund Spring Festival.
Nelson and District Seniors Coordinating Society $1,335 to help offset expenses occurred in providing many valuable services to seniors in our community.
Nelson Figure Skating Club $750 to help fund Harness System.
Kootenay Rhythm Dragons $750 funding for training coaching certification.