Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lions thrive on 'leftovers'

AS the wave of bargain hunters subsides and weary householders count the cash from weekend garage sales, a team of dedicated volunteers kicks into action. The Lions Club of Redland Bay-Victoria Point stocks its monthly flea market stall partly from garage sale "leftovers", which otherwise would often be discarded. The club's weekly advertisement for such donations produces items including furniture, bric a brac, clothing, books and toys that help finance a wide range of Lions programs and projects.

ANN Reed, in her second term as club president, says the donations account for a large proportion of the club's annual earnings from the flea market. She says the market raises about $9000 a year for the Lions, who share stallholder fees with Coast Guard Redland Bay. The next market will be on October 10. The most popular items include books, which the Lions sell for 20 cents each or $2 a bag. Some regular customers get a month's reading at a time, and donate the books back for resale. The club, with 31 members and a long list of beneficiaries, must be one of Redland City's most active service clubs.

ANN says the movement's accounting system ensures that funds raised from the community go back to the community. "We have two accounts: one for administration costs, all of which come from our members; and the community account, of which 100 per cent goes back to the community," she says. The latest disbursement list includes wheelchairs, donations to the aged, a computer for a boy who needed to study at home for health reasons and donations to Mount Cotton Scouts, the YMCA learn-to-swim program, and STAR Transport.

AFTER the Lions read that Stradbroke Island's Yulu Burri Ba Dancers needed costumes, the club donated $1200 for the material. Ann says the club provides annual bursaries of $300 to each of five primary schools to award to students on their transition to Year 8. It has paid cash to help sport achievers and others doing voluntary work. The club also donated $2000 to two Victorian clubs in areas affected by the recent floods. The Lions Club of Redland Bay-Victoria Point is now working towards one of its major annual fundraisers, a baby show at Victoria Point Shopping Centre on November 13.

WITH all this activity and more, the club always needs new members, Ann says. Looking to the future, she says her club hopes to establish a Leo club to introduce those aged 18 to 30 to the service movement.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

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