Sedgefield Lions is a group of socially minded people who enjoy getting together to discuss, assess and address specific needs in their community. As a team they have fun working together on their own specific projects and assisting to raise funds for other charities.
Throughout the year, different members take on a particular activity they’ve chosen to be responsible for and then garner support from those within the club to help them achieve their ends.
They regularly draw upon locals and friends willing to assist with their knowledge and expertise or just as more bodies to share the load. Lions frequently say that they cannot do what they do without the support of the community. Some special helpers are called “Friends of the Lions” because they are always available to help no matter what!
Internationally, Lions Clubs’ core focus has been on vision testing; projects that identify problems to prevent blindness, improve and restore eyesight and improve eye health in general. Sedgefield Lions is no exception. Every year eye tests are carried out at various local schools and hundreds of children’s eyes are tested.
People who have eye glasses they no longer use are encouraged to hand them on to the Lions. They can be effectively recycled by giving them to someone who needs them. It can change a life! From time to time Lions will take
on a special sight-impaired project, e.g. assist an individual to get medical attention for a difficult vision problem that
the person cannot afford to attend to themselves.
They also sponsor annual blood pressure and sugar testing free of charge to the community, setting up in a public place like the Wild Oats market or outside the Pick 'n Pay.
Fund-raising is a hugely necessary part of the Lions function not only for their own projects but also on behalf of other charities. They have inaugurated a Braai Competition/ Beer Festival on Heritage Day that was so successful it will be repeated. They always contribute to the Slow Festival held over Easter.
They hold an annual popular Carols by Candlelight on the Village Green outside their clubhouse. They help in person too by providing marshals to direct traffic, people and parking at the Jaguar Simola Hill Climb, Tortoise Tuff, the Knysna Oyster Festival Trail Run, and Karoo to Coast Cycle Race events.
From their funds Sedgefield Lions have provided emergency supplies to people whose houses were destroyed by a fire in Smutsville. They annually give senior citizens (the over 70’s) a scrumptious tea along with live music (that had many a one dancing) and take-home gifts.
They support the fundraiser “Cupcakes for Kids with Cancer”, the annual raucous Melodrama, 67 Minutes for Mandela (Fresh Start kids got treats at the clubhouse), TLC Music Quiz, Cansa Walk and Hospice High Tea.
Lions readily lend a hand to help other charities when needed. e.g. At short notice some members assisted with decor for a TLC Masked Ball. They have donated soccer balls to the Slow Town Soccer Team, provided funds for a man to have hip replacements, sponsored a Rapid Response Vehicle to attend to emergency calls, a NSRI rubber duck for sea rescues and the boathouse in the parking lot at Myoli Beach for the NSRI boat. They have helped de-oil, clean and feed bewildered penguins rescued from coastal oil-spills. There is almost nothing beyond the scope of Sedgefield Lions.
In June 2016 Sedgefield Lions celebrated their 30th birthday. It’s a far cry from their early beginnings when a few men met in a chicken coop on a farm outside Sedgefield. Today they have 20+ enthusiastic, hard-working, fun loving members (you have to love what you do to be part of this up-beat team)!
Now the chicken coop is a clubhouse next to the clinic on the Village Green. They meet there at 18:30 on the third Thursday of every month. If you think you could be interested in joining the “pride” of Sedgefield Lions, contact Debbie Olivier Cell: 083 306 9998 for more details.
Find our local Lions on Facebook
The Edge - for stories and photos (thanks Bomber) The Lions Year-books Eric and Alison Watson
Lions in nature work as a team and this rings true for their human namesake the Lions Clubs around the world. “Teamwork makes the dream work” says the Council Chairman of Governors, Southern Africa, Denis Meyer “Team meaning togetherness, empathy, action and motivation.” The Region has four challenges they want to meet 1. Engaging our youth 2. Sharing the vision 3. Relieving hunger 4. Protecting our environment………
Lions Club was initiated in 1917 by a 38 year old business leader, Melvin Jones from Chicago and within three years became an international organisation. Their mission is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs.