By Treena Mielke
Thanks to the generous donation of an anonymous donor Rimbey Lions Club has plans to build their fourth playground in the community.
Laverne Oberhammer and Steffen Olsen from the Lions Club were given the green light from council at its Dec. 12 meeting to go ahead with the project.
Mayor Rick Pankiw said the Lions club needs to provide council with a formal, written request, but the process is simply a formality that needs to be followed.
Oberhammer explained that he was approached by the donor recently who stated the family would like to provide the approximately $30,000 needed for the purpose of constructing a playground.
The playground is to be built inside the loop at the Rimbey Lions Nesting Place and will be completed in June of next year.
The structure is to be painted in Lions colours and will be named in honour of the donor and the name will be revealed when the playground is opened.
“It will be really beautiful,” said Oberhammer.
Oberhammer said the Lions Club has already been in contact with the company who will construct the playground.
“It will be done in one weekend and (the construction) will be completely supervised by professionals. All our playgrounds are certified,” he added.
The Rimbey Lions Club was organized in 1946 under the banner of Lions International.
Its first project was the construction of a playground close to downtown. Since that time the club has built two more playgrounds.
Playgrounds are only one of the many projects the club undertakes to improve the quality of life in 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 breakfasts, 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.
The club has helped out with the, Old Timers Association, Rimbey and District Volunteer Supper, Camp He Ho Ha, Royal Canadian Legion History Book and the Blindman Youth Action Society. Most recently, they lent financial support to Rimbey Wellness Group to provide counseling services.
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.