This is the evening when we make donations to local charities and deserving causes as a result of our fund-raising throughout the year. More than 100 guests and representatives of charities attended. It is also the occasion when we are able to publicly thank our volunteers and those who sponsor our fund-raising events. Without their help we could not raise these funds, or carry out our work in the community. We call them S.M.I.L.Es – Supporting Mersea Island Lions Efforts.
President Lion Christine Chamberlain welcomed guests and friends. Our distinguished guests included the Lions International 105EA 2nd Vice District Governor Lion Derek Prior, and the West Mersea Town Council Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor John May and Mrs Ann Rayner.
President Lion Christine was delighted to invite Kim Proctor onto the stage to congratulate her on receiving the Community Heroes Award given by the Colchester Gazette for her support for her work with the Lions.
DONATIONS given to charities and deserving causes during the past year was over £15,000.
£11,500 was presented to the following charities during the evening:-
The Catherine Bullen Foundation
Dabchicks Sailing Club
Essex Air Ambulance
Robert Green’s Sensory Garden
Mersea Island Carnival
Mersea Island Explorer Scouts
Mersea Island First Responders
1st Mersea Island Guides
Mersea Island Judo Club
Mersea Island Scout Group
Mersea Island Junior Rugby Football Club
Mersea Island Oyster Football Club
MICA Monday Lunch Club
Mersea Island Methodist Church
Mersea Island RLNI
Child Funeral Charity
St Helena Hospice
Only Cowards Carry (Knives)
Lions 105EA District Governor Lady’s Charity – EACH
Lions 105EA District Governor Lady’s Charity – Romanian Pride
2) Donations were made to clubs and individuals during the past year when the Club had been asked for financial help. Some of the ways in which we have helped this year are:-
£1,000 donation to the Lions International Northern UK Flood Appeal
£1,000 donation to the Lions International Nepal Earthquake Appeal
Taking a party of children to the Lions Children’s Fun Day at Gt Yarmouth Circus
Children in Need
RBL Poppy Appeal
MICA Lunch Club
A Christmas Day lunch and tea for 36 people home-alone on Christmas Day
Due to rapidly failing equipment, £2,600 has been spent on new digital recording equipment to bring the recording of the Mersea Island Lions Talking Newspaper and Magazine into the modern world. Grants totalling £1,000 were obtained to help towards this cost.
The monies enabling us to support these worthy causes had been raised by:-
Manning the gate at a Waldegraves Car Boot Sale
Selling raffle tickets on behalf of the Mersea Food Drink and Leisures Festival
Round the Island All Terrain Race (half marathon), and 5 & 10 Mile Races
The Annual Lions Summer Show and Transport and Classic Car Show
Car-parking for the Colchester and District Scooter Rally
The Christmas Street Collection for the Home-alone Christmas Dinners
Monies raised by letting out our Lions beach-hut which is available for use in the community.
OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY
Our work in the community also involves putting the Courier onto cassette tapes, and recording a Talking Magazine of news and events here on Mersea for anyone with sight problems.
We have a Lions Community Bus which brings people into the village on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and goes into Colchester on a Wednesday morning.
Our Lions Beach-hut is available for use in return for a donation towards its upkeep.
Each Christmas Day we deliver a lunch and tea to anyone who is at home-alone on that day.
With the help of Boots the Chemist and Patrick Menzies Opticians, we collect nearly 1,000 pairs of used spectacles that are recyled and benefit people in developing countries.