Toora’s Royal Standard Hotel was the venue for the Lions Club of Toora Inc.’s 2023 changeover dinner held on Saturday June 10 and attended by more than 25 people, including Lions and their guests.
The Toora Lions’ 2023-24 Board of Directors will be headed by incoming President, John Beale, who has taken over from Immediate Past President and Greeter, Bruce Chapman.
In his outgoing President’s report, Lion Bruce described the Lions Club of Toora’s 1970s-themed 50th anniversary celebrations at the Toora Community Hall in November 2022 as “a great night”.
He also noted that the 2022-23 Promontory Produce and Craft Market Inc. season run jointly by the Toora Lions and the Rotary Club of Foster at the Foster Showgrounds each year had been “successful”.
“Lions Club Christmas trees and cakes were popular again last year,” Lion Bruce said.
“The Club wishes to thank all of the people who assisted Toora Lions in Lions activities during the year.
“The Toora Lions’ Den has [also] been very busy but quite successful in the past 12 months and all of the profits generated by the Lions’ Den are going to community projects or to help people in need,” he said.
The Lions also offered their “special thanks to all the public who donated their unwanted household items to Toora Lions’ Den sales, allowing these items to be recycled, reducing the amount of goods going to landfill.”
Toora Lion Noelle Bonin is continuing in her role as Secretary for another term, and in her 2022/23 report, she observed that “since the beginning of last Lions year, the Club has pursued its normal activities with a positive outcome.”
Lion Noelle, too, mentioned how the Lions’ Den, managed by Lion Robyn Dunne and incoming Treasurer, provides “a steady stream of revenues to be channelled back into local and global communities.”
She commended Lion Ray Argento, the Club’s incoming 2nd Vice President, for keeping the Toora Lions’ Facebook page “tidy and up to date” as it “helps to advertise far and wide the bargains [that are] available”.
Lion Noelle wrote that “members do spend a lot of hours and effort picking up and sorting the donated goods and are always looking for more volunteers to help with the load.”
Her report also referred to the Club’s links to local district schools, including its primary and secondary scholarship program, the “Letters to Santa” project, the Youth of the Year event, and the Lions Peace Poster project, many of which are arranged by Lion Glenda Paragreen, who is the Club’s outgoing Treasurer and incoming Global Services Team officer.
Toora Lions conducted many of their famous barbecues during the past year, including one at the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard Harvest Day in March 2023, which raised $1000 towards the Australian Lions Children’s Cancer Research Foundation.
The Lions supported relief efforts after the Turkey earthquake, sponsored the special Camp in Licola for the victims of flooding in northern Victoria, and have again embarked on their annual winter firewood drive.
Lion Noelle said the Toora Lions’ membership had declined during the past years and now stands at 17 registered members, though new members of all ages and walks of life are always welcome to join.
Outgoing Treasurer Lion Glenda reported that the Lions’ Den had raised a total of $26,000 to date, and that the Toora Lions’ share of the Promontory Produce and Craft Market Inc.’s 2022/23 season was $19,000.
Some of these funds will be going towards a major project still to be agreed on by the Toora Lions members, while over $16,000 was donated to more than 25 different causes, including local schools, sporting clubs and community organisations during the past year.
Among these were the Toora Community Hall, Manna Gum Community House in Foster, the Bennison Adult Riders Club, Foster and District Historical Society, and Victoria Police Wonthaggi Blue Light through the Korumburra Lions Club.
The Toora Lions contributed funds towards a range of medical research institutions such as those for diabetes, spinal cord conditions, rheumatism, arthritis, and vision as well as health services like the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The Club also supported Victorian, Australian and International Lions programs and projects and ran free community barbecues at the Toora Swimming Pool and the Foster Kindergarten at Christmas time, and at Welshpool on Australia Day.
Lion Ray presented the Vice President’s report at the changeover and commented that “as [it] is with many other community groups, the Toora Lions Club will need to undertake projects that will encourage and entice people to want to be part of an active club.”
He went on to list a number of Toora Lions historic, long-term and ongoing projects and activities, including Sagasser Park in Toora, Toora’s Meikle Place community retirement units, and the Club’s commitment to Lions’ youth development programs and contributing scholarships to local district schools.
Lion Ray also commended Lion Noelle for “finding something to say each week” on local radio station South Coast FM’s Lions Hour broadcast.
The Toora Lions’ Den is based at the Vi-Plus factory at 67 Toora Jetty Road in Toora and is open on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 8 am to 1 pm.
The Lions Club of Toora meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 6.30 pm for a 7 pm start at the Toora Lions’ Den at 67 Toora Jetty Road, and all potential new members and volunteers are invited to “come and join us!”
For more information about the Lions Club of Toora, see the Club’s Facebook page, send an email to [email protected] or write to PO Box 6, Toora, VIC 3962.