Lions members - Members of the Kipling and District Lions Club: Front row, from left, are, District Governor Lane Johnson, Tara Carter, Teena Manns, Laurie Dube, Lynda Rutledge, Joan Leggett, Susan Long, Donna Olver, Patricia Jackson. Back row, from left, are, 1st Vice District Governor Heather Vermeersch, Joe Widdup, Dawn Manns, Brian Manns, Dan Manns, Michael Warner, Dana Sproat, Elaine Pusch, Vern Pusch, Larry Jackson.

Even in a small rural community like Kipling, it would be difficult to count all of the changes that have taken place over the past 60 years. But one of those things which never changes is that in any community – needs will arise that must be met.
Since it was chartered 60 years ago, the Kipling and District Lions Club has worked to make the Lions Club motto “We Serve – Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion” a reality not only in Kipling, but across the province, throughout the country and around the world.
Last Saturday, local Lions Club members along with members from seven other Lions Clubs (Maryfield, Carlyle, Broadview, Windthorst, Wolseley, Grenfell and Climax) gathered at the Kipling community Centre to celebrate those 60 years of service.
Laurie Dube (Kipling & District Lions Club President) notes that the club continues to be both strong and active.
“We currently have 22 members in our club. Several of our members have been Lions for a number of years. But we also have members who have been with us for 2-3 years and one member who joined us last fall. I’ve been a member for 5 years and this is my third year as president.
“Not long ago, we sat down and made a list of all of the different things that we’ve helped with since 2016.Our list not only includes the funding that we’ve provided for various local needs and charities – but also donations that our club has made to provincial, national and international causes. Altogether, our club has donated $160,353.97 to that long list of worthy causes.”
District Governor Lane Johnson says that for him, joining the Lions Club meant following his grandfather’s lead.
“I’ve been a Lion for 11 years. My grandfather was a Lion, and when he reached the point where he was unable to attend meetings, I decided to become a member.”
Although many Lions Club’ members have been part of the organization for many years, Johnson notes that the organization is actively recruiting new members as well.
“There are plenty of opportunities for young people in the Lions Clubs. There’s an initiative within the Lions Club called ‘New Voices’ which looks towards diversity, and is geared towards encouraging more women, younger men and people from various cultural backgrounds to join the club.
“One of the ways in which we are working to do that is by being present on Social Media and getting the message out there about all that we do as a local and global organization.
“There are just under 1.4 million Lions Club’ members worldwide, and we are currently working on what we call ‘Mission 1.5’ which aims to see our global membership grow to over 1.5 million. Since its inception, the Lions Club International has donated over a billion dollars to various causes around the globe. And Dr Patti Hill from Edmonton, who is the President of Lions Club International remains committed to positive change by recruiting new members and focusing on things like helping the environment.
“At the same time, local clubs like the Kipling and District Lions Club continue to address its community’s needs. Things change – just look at the way our communities have changed in the past 10 years. I believe that clubs like this remain strong and relevant as they adapt to the changing needs of their community and remain ready to take on whatever challenge comes next.”
Mayor Pat Jackson, (who along with her husband) is a long-time member of the Kipling and District Lions Club, offered greetings and congratulations on behalf of the Town of Kipling and commented on the important role that the organization plays in the community.
“When you look at the many things that our Lions Club has funded – even just over the past few years – it is hard to imagine what would have happened if there wasn’t a Lions Club here. We would certainly be a much poorer community.
“So as Mayor of Kipling, I would like to say ‘Thank-you’ to every Lions Club member here, from our local club as well as those who have joined us this evening to celebrate. All of you have done so much to make our ‘house’ into a ‘home’ because it’s through your service that you make a town into a community.”

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