Lions International President – Brian Sheehan – Message to Australian Lions about flood disaster.

Lions provide a little Christmas joy to NSW flood victims

When disaster strikes, Lions volunteers are the first to offer support and that’s exactly what is happening as communities across Australia face the devastating effects of recent floods in the lead up to Christmas.

The township of Eugowra, which is located between Forbes and Canowindra in central NSW, is one of those places.

Their entire community was decimated by flood waters which went through the small country township like an “inland tsunami”.

Houses were inundated with flood waters and moved from their foundations, even with family members still inside.

Working together, Lions decided to organise a little Christmas gift for the residents to help raise their spirits.

Devastation and damage to local houses, moved from their foundations.

Disaster Chair N4 PDG Anne Jones OAM, together with the Australian Lions Foundation and Lions’ Christmas cake provider, Traditional Foods, were able to to put together an urgent order of 900 Christmas Cakes to be shipped to Dubbo and collected by Lions ready for distribution.

A small sticker was put on all of the boxes wishing recipients a heartfelt Christmas greeting and small acknowledgement that Lions are thinking of them at this time.

“We know the road to recovery is a long one after a disaster. Our volunteers are still going above and beyond to help communities rebuild after the devastating bushfires of 2019/2020 and we will see the same with flood affected communities,” says Australian Lions Foundation Chairperson Tony Benbow OAM.

Cakes being boxed with greeting stickers.

Lions have been providing emergency support to Australian communities for decades. Over $4.6 million was raised and distributed in the recent Australian Lions Foundation National Bushfire Appeal and $1.9 million was raised and distributed to Flood Support last year.

Anyone looking to make a donation and support those affected by the floods can do so through their local Lions Club or through donating directly to Australian Lions Foundation.

Click here to make a donation (all donations over $2 are tax deductible).

Echuca Lions Club donate to local cancer centre

BY EMILY WILLIAMS

Echuca Lions Club has donated $20,000 to a new Cancer and Wellness Centre for the Victorian town.

The $8.3 million centre will deliver a new chemotherapy and haemodialysis unit to the area, as well as provide wellness programs to help improve the health and well-being of cancer patients.

With several members of Echuca Lions Club having been touched by cancer themselves, this project was particularly close to their hearts.

“It means something to all of us,” said Lion Laurie Stewart.

“I had pancreatic cancer, John had prostate cancer, and Graeme had bladder cancer.”

Half the money was raised at the Club’s annual golf day in March, and the Australian Lions Foundation (ALF) provided the rest through a matching grant.

Lion John Hewlett says the Club is grateful for the community getting behind the cause.

“We know it’s been a difficult time for a lot of local businesses after all the lockdowns, so we really appreciate the support,” he said.

Work on Echuca Cancer and Wellness Centre began in August 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

 

Original Story from the Riverine Herald, here.

Lions Foundation doing a bloody good job

BY EMILY WILLIAMS

Over the next two years, The Lions Cord Blood Foundation will provide Monash Children’s Hospital in Victoria with $50,000 for neo-natal cell therapy research.

Announced in August, the grant will go towards improving outcomes for vulnerable babies by utilising the “reparative, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative potential of cell therapies”.

Cord blood is the blood that is found in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. As a rich and diverse source of stem cells, this blood can be used for children and adults requiring bone marrow transplants.

The Lions Cord Blood Foundation was established in 1996 by Laurie Denton, a member of the Lions Club of Waverly in V5 and has raised more than $2.3 million for the Fight Cancer Foundation.

Ron Tregear, Chairman (3rd from left) & Pat Mills, Association Secretary (4th from left), Lions Cord Blood Foundation along with members of Newborn Cell Therapies group

Chairperson of the Foundation, Ron Tregear, says this research is “particularly rewarding”.

“It will involve bringing extremely premature babies into the world potentially in better health than they may have otherwise been,” he said.

Associate Professor Atul Mahlotra says he is grateful to the Foundation.

“This will directly feed into our cell therapies clinical trial pipeline including one study currently recruiting extremely preterm babies to investigate feasibility and safety of autologous cord blood cell therapy,” he said.

In Australia, cord blood has been used to treat over 80 conditions, including cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders and metabolic disorders.

You can learn more about The Lions Cord Blood Foundation here.

Kingborough (Tas) ALCCRF Presentation

Kingborough Lions Make Significant Donation to Childhood Cancer Research

Kingborough (Tas) ALCCRF Presentation

Photo L – R: Kingborough Lions Eric Madsen, DGE Paul Cairnduff, Mary Cairnduff, PDG Hester van Niekerk and Chair ALCCRF PDG Ron Skeen.

The Lions Club of Kingborough presented $86,500 to the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation (ALCCRF) at the 2022 National Convention. PDG Hester van Niekerk writes…

“…If it was my grandchild, I would want ‘light and hope’ at the end of the dark tunnel and only research will give this light and hope to a devastated family.

The Lions Club of Kingborough supports many projects and I asked……how can we promote the Lions Club, ALCCRF and raise funds? Forming partnerships was the answer”.

 

Since 2016 the Lions Club of Kingborough has donated over $86,500 to the ALCCRF. As part of their fundraising efforts, they have partnered up with a number of local businesses to reach this goal including:

• Management of their local Shopping Centre. This resulted in being asked to assist in many and various events such as assisting the Easter Bunny, dressing as the 3 witches at Halloween and assisting with children’s activities throughout the year.

They have also been doing Christmas Gift Wrapping for many years. Management provide everything needed for all events undertaken at no cost to the group.

• Professional cake decorator who agreed to ice the Lions 80g mini cakes to sell to schools, early childhood organisations and at their Christmas wrapping stall at the local shopping complex.

• Local shops who supplied toys and books to go into small raffles for children at their Christmas wrapping event.

• Local artists including a Master Artist who provided an original water colour work. This was sold with 100% of sale going to the ALCCRF.

• Local quilters who provided the group with quilts that are sold – and again 100% of sale going to the ALCCRF.

• Local newspaper who kindly allowed editorials promoting their activities and events.

“Our only cost is that of the mini cakes, but in exchange for the support we recognise our sponsors, promote Lions and ALCCRF…helping hands from members, partners and friends is what goes towards increasing the ‘light’ and search for a cure,” says PDG Hester.

Well done to the Kingborough Lions Club for your dedication to such an important cause.

To find out more about how you can support the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, click here.

 

Preschool donates to ALF

Preschool donates $10,000 to ALF National Flood Appeal

The community is rallying behind the Australian Lions Foundation National Disaster Appeal providing emergency relief to those communities devastated by floods in QLD and NSW.

Local Randwick business Platinum Preschool has donated $10,000 to the appeal.

A special event held at Platinum Preschool last month saw the kids dressing up as Lions Cubs to present the $10,000 cheque to Sari-Elle Kraemer, President of Coogee Lions Club.

Randwick Mayor Dylan Parker and Member for Coogee Marjorie O’Neil were also in attendance.

Every dollar donated to the Australian Lions Foundation National Disaster Appeal is being sent directly to Lions Clubs on the ground in flood affected communities.

Platinum Preschool Owner Jo O’Brien says the donation is not only about supporting the flood affected communities but also about setting a good example.

“Platinum Preschool is very proud to be donating a full day of fees to the Australian Lions Foundation Disaster Appeal,” says Jo.

“In addition to helping those impacted by the floods, this donation is also about setting a good example to the kids at Platinum through showing them the importance of helping others in times of need. When devastation occurs, we teach the children to look out for those who are helping and being kind. This reinforces our ethos of BE KIND and the values program we teach daily here in our centre” adds Jo.

Kids at Platinum Preschool ALF Donation

Platinum Preschool kids present Lions with a donation to the ALF National Flood Appeal

Coogee Lions President Sari-Elle Kraemer has thanked the community for its support and is encouraging anyone else looking to help support those impacted by the floods to consider making a donation to the Australian Lions Foundation.

“At Coogee Lions, we know many people in our community are looking to help those affected by the catastrophic floods in QLD and NSW. Our volunteers have been out in the community shaking donation buckets and we are seeing such strong support and generosity from the local community. Thank you to all of the local businesses who have offered to have a donation box and to those like Platinum Preschool who are supporting the Australian Lions Foundation National Disaster Appeal,” says Sari-Elle.

“Every dollar raised is being sent directly to local Lions Clubs on the ground who are providing emergency relief in their community. That’s the benefit of an organisation like Lions – we have over 1200 clubs across Australia so when disaster strikes we can get funds sent quickly to those who need it most.”

Anyone looking to make a donation and support those affected by the floods can do so through their local Lions Club or through donating directly to Australian Lions Foundation.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Lions’ Second-hand Furniture Store Reopens in Clare

The Clare District Lions Club are celebrating the reopening of their second-hand furniture shed. The Club donates proceeds from the furniture sales to several local organisations, as well as donating items of furniture to those in need. 

Club members, Doug Booth and Rob Royal write more:

The Clare Lions Furniture Shed has reopened after the Festive season break.

The Shed, located at 2 Harriett Street, will celebrate its third anniversary in June and its success continues to go from strength to strength.

In that time, the shed has donated more than $55,000 from furniture sales to the nearby communities of Blyth, Burra, Auburn and Watervale.

Organisations such as Operation Flinders Foundation and The Wool, Wine and Wheat Country Education Foundation have benefitted from the Shed’s proceeds. In addition, Clare Hospital has received a diabetes testing machine, as well as items of furniture.

The Shed’s history goes back to 2017 when the local thrift shop stopped accepting furniture because the items were often large and heavy, making them difficult to transport and store.

“Almost immediately, there was an increase in the amount of unwanted secondhand furniture being disposed of at the Local Council Waste Transfer Station,” said Shed manager, Dave Simpson, “besides (wasting) furniture, it led to higher volumes going to landfill, which increased costs for Council and, by default, ratepayers.”

The idea of starting up a secondhand furniture shop then developed within the Clare District Lions Club who, after researching secondhand ventures by other groups, decided to give it a go.

With the generous support of a local family, the Club gained access to a large warehouse and office in a prime location, with no lease payment required for the first six months.

“This was enough time to see if would be a success or not,” assistant Shed manager Chris Ballantyne said.

Using a trailer purchased with a grant and members’ personal utes for collections and deliveries, the operation took off.

Officially opened by the Local, State and Federal politicians in July 2019 with great coverage by local media, the Lions Furniture Shed quickly became the place to take unwanted, quality furniture and white goods.

“All items are sold at very reasonable prices, ensuring a speedy turnover,” said Simpson.

Items from the Shed have been donated to those in need through local community care groups such as Uniting Country SA.

“Sometimes (we donated) just one or two items, but on a number of occasions it has been for a whole house; lounge, dining, beds and fridges for families—mostly single mums with children needing emergency accommodation,” said Allan Mayfield, President of Clare District Lions Club.

Throughout 2020, the store was closed for several months due to Covid-19; however, emergency donations and some collections continued. During this period, rent payments were kindly frozen by the owner of the property.

Since reopening, sales have been consistent. So much so that the Club recently purchased a quality secondhand 4×4 ute, removing the need for members to use their own vehicles.

The Furniture Shed is now a big revenue raiser for the club, but it is more than that.

“We have helped many through our donations of furniture. We have especially helped those unable to buy new furniture, such as those starting out on their first home (and) all local ratepayers by reducing land fill costs to the Council, as well as helping our environment,” said Mayfield

“In the store we also sell Lions cakes and have our Recycle for Sight collection bin.  It is our Lion’s Den,” added Simpson.

Volunteering at the shed has become an option for those unemployed or as an alternative to school.  In most cases, working with a great mob of Lions and other volunteers has helped them develop the skills and confidence to pursue paid employment.

 

The Furniture Shed is open 9:30am to 3:30pm on Fridays and 9am to 12pm on Saturdays. To learn more click HERE.

Haymes Paint Donate to ALF

Haymes Paint stores and Lions Clubs host BBQ’s with a difference

Lions has a longstanding reputation for hosting some of the country’s best sausage sizzles.

Haymes Paint customers across the country have been enjoying complimentary Lions BBQ’s recently as part of a national promotion that’s delivering much more than just sausage sizzles.

Last month Lions volunteers supported 56 Haymes Point stores across the country with a complimentary Sausage Sizzle and Bacon and Egg Rolls for all customers.

In addition to reimbursing Lions for all costs, Haymes has made a donation of $25,500 to the Australian Lions Foundation Disaster Relief Fund which provides Lions Clubs across Australia with the ability to quickly react in times of need.

Haymes Paint Newcastle

ALF Grants Chairman Ken Hallam, DG Glenys Francis, Haymes Mngr, & Elermore Vale Lions at Haymes Paint store in Newcastle

From Cyclone Tracy in 1974 to the recent droughts, bushfires and horrific 2022 floods, Lions have always been amongst the first to roll up their sleeves and taken action.

Australian Lions Foundation Chairperson Tony Benbow OAM has thanked Haynes for its support.

“The Australian Lions Foundation wishes to thank Haymes Paint for their generous donation and support as well as all of the Lions volunteers who fired up the BBQ at their local Haymes Paint store. Lions is celebrating its 75 Year anniversary in Australia this year and we are so proud of the support we have provided to the community to date.”

“Every dollar donated to Australian Lions Foundation goes towards helping Lions Clubs support their communities in times of need and through Lions’ incredible network of over 1200 clubs you can be confident it’s distributed quickly and to those who need it most,” adds Tony Benbow.

ALF Grants Chairman Ken Hallam, DG Glenys Francis, Haymes Rep, & Warners Bay Lions at Haymes Paint store in Warners Bay

Over $4.6 million was raised and distributed in the Australian Lions Foundation National Bushfire Appeal. But the support from Lions did not stop there. Over the past two years, even through a health pandemic, Lions volunteers have continued to support those affected and are focusing on helping communities rebuild.

For any individuals or businesses looking to give back, the Australian Lions Foundation is a wonderful cause to support.

“We encourage any Australians looking to give back this year to consider donating to Australian Lions Foundation. You never know when you or your family might need assistance or when disaster might strike in your community but if it does Australian Lions Foundation and your local Lions club will do whatever we can to help,” adds Tony Benbow.

To support our volunteers on the ground who are helping with flood recovery, you can make a donation online here.

Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Lions volunteers give the gift of education to young non-verbal autistic boy

Lions volunteers give the gift of education to young non-verbal autistic boy

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child and this is especially true for young children with autism.

Early intervention is key for the learning and development of children with autism and with the support of Lions volunteers a young non-verbal autistic 4-year-old is kickstarting 2022 with the education he needs to reach his full potential.

Thomas’ parents are from Columbia. They are not permanent residents in Australia and therefore cannot access the NDIS. Navigating the system is particularly difficult and expensive. Despite both working Thomas’ parents couldn’t afford the early intervention their 4-year-old son needs.

Lions supporting young boy with autism

Lions volunteer Elvio Munzone with Thomas and his Dad Daniel.

When he came across the Martinez family last year, Sydney based Lion volunteer Elvio Munzone was on a mission to do what he could to help.

He quickly rallied within the Lions network and was able to secure $22,000 funding which will give Thomas access to 48 weeks of early intervention education.

“At Lions we’re passionate about helping those in need in the community. When Thomas’ parents reached out to me and explained their situation I was very keen to do what I could to assist. Early intervention is so important particularly for children with autism. This is not the first time Lions has supported young children with autism. A few years ago, we supported a young non-verbal boy with autism who benefited greatly and is now speaking and attending school.”

Thanks to Lions Clubs of Bondi, Manly, Lugarno, Coogee, Hunter Business Lions Club, Blacktown Ponds, Parramatta, Epping Eastwood, Sydney Seaside, Sydney Champions Inner West, Follow Your Dream Foundation-Australia and a grant from the Australian Lions Foundation, Thomas will now have the opportunity to benefit from early intervention too.

Thomas’ parents say they are very grateful for the support.

“As a young family and not permanent residents in Australia, navigating the health and education system can be hard and it’s very expensive. Thomas is everything to us and we are just so grateful that he is now able to access the early intervention that he needs, “says Daniel Martinez.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you to Lions for your support. It’s hard to find more words to express just how grateful we are. It is such an important time in our son’s life and we are sure that he will benefit greatly from this early intervention education. Thank you.”