By Treena Mielke
The Lions Club of Rimbey celebrated their 70th anniversary charter last weekend.
The event was punctuated with award presentations, visiting, entertainment and fun.
“It was a great evening,” said president Stephan Van Oostrom. “A very nice evening with lots of neighbouring clubs in attendance.”
The Lions district governor, Hank Hoekstra was the guest speaker.
The Rimbey Lions Club was organized in 1946 under the banner of Lions International.
Since that time the Lions Club has had many goals geared towards improving the quality of life in the community.
Van Oostrom, who has been a Lions member for 10 years, said he enjoys being a member of the club because of its commitment to give back to the community.
“I like to do something for the community and the Lions club does a lot of good things for the community.”
The club has helped people of all ages and from all walks of life through providing funding and support for a variety of projects and activities.
The Lions playground, the food booth at the rodeo grounds, ball diamonds, Project 84, the skate park, walking trails, soccer parks and youth centre are among several of the projects the club has been involved with.
The club also held the Lions rodeo from 1955 to 1965, pancake breakfast, blood donor clinics, provided scholarships, supported the handi van and the RV campground.
The club has lent financial support to arena expansion and the installation of artificial ice.
Last year the lions Club helped out with the Barry Dersch fire, Dixen Family in Trust, Old Timers Association, Rimbey and District Volunteer Supper, Camp He Ho Ha, Royal Canadian Legion History Book and the Blindman Youth Action Society.
Ongoing projects include the cattle round up, Heart and Stroke Fund, Lions Eye Research, Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, Lions of Alberta Foundation, Outreach School Scholarship and lunch program, Rimbey Food Bank, Rimbey Victim Services, Royal Canadian Legion, Stars Ambulance, Central Alberta Raceways, Canadian Institute for the Blind, Lions Question, West Blind Curlers, Western Blind Golfers and Cavalcade for Diabetes.
The club has plans to help with the overlay for the walking trails which are now under construction due to earthwork on the property for the new senior’s lodge.
Lions clubs are recognized for their service to the blind and visually impaired.
This service began when Helen Keller challenged Lions to become knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.
Since 1917 Lions clubs have offered people the opportunity to give something back to their communities.
The clubs have now expanded their focus in keeping with the ever-changing global needs.