Newcastle West Lions Club hoping for new era of charitable spirit

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

PEOPLE throughout Newcastle West have been urged to help the vulnerable and less fortunate in their local area by lending their efforts to the Newcastle West and District Lions Club.

PEOPLE throughout Newcastle West have been urged to help the vulnerable and less fortunate in their local area by lending their efforts to the Newcastle West and District Lions Club.

Auctioneer Michael Liston, who has taken over as chairman of the local Lions Club branch, believes that charitable spirit channelled in the right direction can make all the difference in small communities.

The local Lions Club is now looking for new members and volunteers to take part in a number of events it has planned between now and Christmas.

“One thing we are always keen on is letting people know exactly what it is we’re about”, Mr Liston said. “The Lions Club motto is ‘We Serve’. If there are any issues in our community that need attention and awareness, and maybe sometimes money, we do what we can to make sure people are aware of it.”

The international Lions Club movement began in Chicago in 1917, and today has 1.4 million members working in over 200 countries.

The first Irish Lions Club was founded in Dublin in 1955, and the Newcastle West and District branch was set up in 2003.

Today, the Newcastle West branch has over 30 members, and Mr Liston said that the club are always keen to speak to organisations and charities that feel that they could benefit from the Lions Club’s help.

The local club’s first initiative of the season took place on September 26, when they were involved in a ‘Mad Hatters’ day in Newcastle West.

This event featured students, teachers and parents from several local schools collecting money in the town square for CARI and the Children’s Ark ward in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, raising over €2,000.

On October 13, Lions Club members will hold bucket collections outside shops and businesses across Newcastle West, while on October 17 they will be involved in the ‘My Mind Matters’ mental health awareness event at the Devon Inn Hotel in Templeglantine.

On December 8, meanwhile, the club will host the annual visit of Santa Claus to a specially-erected grotto in the Newcastle West town square. On December 13 the Lions Club will hold its annual choir and music recital in the local church.

The Lions Club has also recently begun working with the ‘compassionate communities’ project, which is being piloted in Newcastle West by Milford Care Centre. Lions Clubs across the country, meanwhile, are currently working with the HSE’s ASIST suicide prevention programme.

For more information, e-mail ncwlionsclub@hotmail.com, call or text 085 7631515 or log on to the website www.lionsclubs.ie.