Wiltshire Publications

Fundraising and fun; a year with Westbury Lions

PRESIDENT of Westbury Lions Club, Anita Drago, reports on the very successful year of 2013 for the club. 

She said, “Well another busy year fundraising and enjoying ourselves, that really sums up 2013!

“In order to raise money this year we have held our Donkey Derby again which proved to be as successful as previous years and we just about beat the weather too! We also held our 10k run in October which was very well attended with over 120 runners; it’s becoming known amongst local running clubs as well as being a great local event for first time 10k runners. We also had stalls at some fetes and the town Christmas Fair where we sold hot soup which went down well as it was a rather chilly day.”

Over Christmas, the club visited as many homes in Westbury as it could with its new Christmas Float. Anita continues, “Our new ‘sleigh’ proved  very popular with both children and adults, and was definitely our biggest challenge this year. Having decided after last Christmas that we needed to completely redesign our float, several of the club members spent a lot of long cold evenings designing and making our new sleigh.

“After some fibreglass work, several layers of paint and numerous strings of lights it was looking great. With some expert help we then added a new sound system and we are all delighted with the results and it was lovely to show off the new sleigh at the Christmas Lights switch on in November.

“On top of the fundraising events we have held the annual senior Citizens Party and our Easter Egg Hunt for the children.

“Over the year we have raised almost £12,000 and these  funds are distributed in various ways; some goes to international projects such as the Philippines Disaster Fund and this is all managed by Lions Clubs across the world with nothing being taken away for administration. The majority of our funds however go to local causes which include school and youth organisations, individuals and groups in need, and community projects. All requests for money are discussed by the welfare committee and then decided upon by the club members.

“One of the biggest events we did this year was to fund a coach and tickets for primary school children to go to Paultons Park for the day. This is a very exciting day at the theme park for many families who really appreciate the opportunity see their children having so much fun. The visit is part of a larger event in our Lions District where local clubs provide over 3,000 tickets for children, young carers and those with disabilities.

“Annually we sponsor several events at local schools including the Young Musician Competition at Matravers and the All Schools Concert where the primary school children get the chance to all join together at Matravers School. The standard of entertainment from the children at both of these events gets better every year and is truly outstanding.

“When we are not busy raising money we like to have fun with social events and this year we have had a skittles evening, a barbecue and a  ‘Ladies Excuse Me’ where the men did all the cooking for the ladies. Our main social event of the year is our Charter Night which celebrates the anniversary of the formation of the club.

“This year Westbury Lions Club was 40 years old so we had a ‘40’s’ night with a lot of members wearing 40’s dress and a menu and music to match. It was a wonderful evening which added to the list of ‘Fun and Fellowship’ social events. This list was completed by our Christmas Party which included delicious food and some rather silly games!

“Membership is always high on the agenda and we have been pleased to badge up five new members in the last year. We have held a couple of ‘Meet the Lions evenings’ and over the next year we plan to hold ‘Drink and Chat’ evenings for our members to enjoy, and for anyone who is interested in what Westbury Lions get up to. The first of these will be on Tuesday 11th February at the Horse and Groom in Alfred Street, Westbury. Please feel free to come along, we are a friendly group of like-minded people who enjoy having fun and raising money for the local community.

“Looking forward to 2014 we are planning several events, many of which are already booked in:

• Senior Citizens Party: May 4th 2014

• Easter Egg Hunt: April 19th 2014

• Paultons Park Visit: June 22nd 2014

• Donkey Derby: June 29th 2014

• Westbury Street Fair: July 12th 2014

“Finally if you would like more information or would like to apply for funding please visit our website www.westbury lions.org.uk.

“Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014 from all the members of Westbury Lions Club.”