Club Projects

$10,000 Donation in Sight

Branin Thompson, Murray Warnke, Larry Fowell, Bern Hankinson, Jim Taylor, Cliff Reed,Glen Zahara and Cheryl Deckert

An oversized cheque was presented to representatives of the Wetaskiwin Hospital and Health Foundation during a photo op just outside the operating room in the Wetaskiwin Hospital on February 1st .  Lion, Larry Fowell announced, “We are donating $10,000.00 to the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation to help purchase cataract surgical trays.”  That was all he had to say to bring smiles of gratitude to the faces of the Wetaskiwin Hospital staff and representatives of the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation.
  “The Lions are doing a wonderful thing by supporting cataract surgery,” said a grateful Cheryl Deckert, Wetaskiwin Hospital Manager. “You have just made three smiling ophthalmologists out there and one smiling Operating Room Manager as we have another important item off our want and need list.  The fact that the donation came in today couldn’t be any better timing.”  She laughingly added, “When the cheque came in it was only good for 5 minutes and I spent it.  We bought sterilization trays so the fragile instruments can be easily cleaned without damaging them in the high pressure sterilization unit.”
 Cheryl talked about the importance of the donation and how this community has been so supportive. “A set of cataract instruments to do one case is $8000 and we need 24 of them. The microscope they use to do the surgery cost $175,000 and we just got a new one from Alberta Health Services.  The support from Alberta Health Services has been wonderful but they can’t do everything so it’s so important for the (Wetaskiwin) Health Foundation, the community and you (the Lions) to step forward like this.”
 Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called "crystalline lens") that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract. Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over time lead to the development of the cataract and loss of transparency, causing impairment or loss of vision. Many patients' first symptoms are strong glare from lights and small light sources at night, along with reduced acuity (sharpness) at low light levels. During cataract surgery, a patient's cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens's transparency.
 Cataract surgery is generally performed by an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) in an ambulatory (rather than inpatient) setting, in a surgical center or hospital, using local anesthesia usually causing little or no discomfort to the patient. Well over 90% of operations are successful in restoring useful vision, with a low complication rate.  Source
 Equipment purchased by funding from donations made to the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation provides top notch healthcare that exceeds what can be offered using only government funding. Cheryl describes it by saying, “80-90% of the people having cataract surgery are from the Wetaskiwin region.  Given the demographics of Wetaskiwin and the aging population, we are thankful we can purchase medical equipment and provide them with health services in their own community. This year alone we will be performing 900 cataract operations on 450 patients right here in Wetaskiwin.”
 The Hospital prides itself on the convenience that can be offered, the personalized care and maintaining a low infections rate. “We get wonderful feedback from the citizens. It’s a smooth operation (cataract) and often we see them down in the cafeteria the same day as the operation. We have been doing this since 1993 so we know the process very well.”
 The Wetaskiwin Lions Club has donated $119,390 to the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation over the years. Larry commented, “There are many contributions made by the Wetaskiwin Lions that have assisted with making Our City a better place to live.” And of course Cheryl wasn’t exactly kidding when she invitingly said “Whenever you want to come back, we will be here.”
 The Wetaskiwin Health Foundation is the essential link for creating and managing partnerships and alliances between healthcare representatives and individuals, service clubs, foundations, corporate representatives, and government. The correct mix of partners and resources are matched to satisfy the values of the donor and the needs of healthcare. For more information contact Foundation Executive Director, Lillian Dykes at 780-361-4130.


Wetaskiwin Lions Club Stepping up to Centre Ice


Mayor Elliot accepts the Lions donation.

The compressor motors have been running over a month making artificial ice in the Wetaskiwin arenas. Soon the hockey players and figure skaters entering and exiting the buildings every day will be joined by another user group,  public skaters. Thanks to generous financial support offered by community groups in Wetaskiwin, individuals and families will be able to participate in this excellent form of recreation and exercise, free-of-charge. 
 The Wetaskiwin Lions are one of the generous supporters that stepped up to centre ice of the subsidized public skating program. On October 31st they announced a donation of $600 to help offset the costs of public skating. This fund will be increased by other community groups such as the Loyal Order of the Moose to help remove the financial barrier that may be denying any local residents the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from this exercise.
 Local Lion member Larry Fowell explained how this came about. “We have certain things we fund every year that are our projects and activities. We have been doing this (subsidizing skating fees) for, I don’t know how many years…a long, long time. I know that the people that are using it, it is a benefit to them.”
 Lions have a 50 year history of assisting the community in which they live. As explained by Club President Cliff Reed, “The values of the Lions are to work for others.  There is no ‘self’ in Lions. Another value of Lions is the family….The Lions Club is a family working together to do the things needed in the community where the government doesn’t find enough money”. The Lions, in an agreement with the City of Wetaskiwin, operate the Lions Campground east of the City. Of the approximately $80 thousand dollars of annual revenue, $20 thousand is invested directly into charitable causes in Wetaskiwin.
 Mayor Bill Elliot and Alderman McFaul, Alderman Barry Hawkes and Alderman Glenn Reucker shared their praise of the Lions and all the good work they do for the community.
 The Lions are never idle in the community. Larry also mentioned another fundraising campaign the Lions have in progress. “We are fundraising for the Wetaskiwin Hospital for 10 trays for cataract surgery. This is a big fundraiser for us as it`s $1000 per tray.. We can`t say yes we are going to do it but I can say the Lions are trying to achieve the $10,000 fundraising goal.”
 Thanks to the generosity of the Lions and the Loyal Order of Moose and other community supporters, every resident can benefit from the great exercise offered by skating. Enjoy the opportunity to get out of the house. Come down to the arena, lace-em up, meet some new friends and see old ones and generally enjoy the fresh air and exercise offered by a skating experience. As the Lions declare. ‘Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. That's because we help where help is needed – in our own communities and around the world – with unmatched integrity and energy.’


Lions Standing Proud in the Community

 Wetaskiwin Lions Club donates $30K to Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society (WCTS), L-R Neva Sawatzky, Jim Taylor, Flo Taylor, Mark McFaul, President, WCTS)   Cliff Reed, President Wetaskiwin Lions, Glen Zahara, Glenn Dokker Corinne Denham, Larry Fowell
 . On July 25th, 2011 the Wetaskiwin Lions made a decision to assist the Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society with the purchase of a van by donating $30,000. (See article p. 14, August 11 edition of the Pipestone Flyer for details). They made the donation official when members of the Lions Club gathered to hand over a ceremonial cheque to President of the Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society, Mark McFaul

Wetaskiwin Lions Club Leaps for a Chance to Help

Lions are viewed as powerful animals that have a predatory behavior to stalk and bring down the prey. Not the Lions in Wetaskiwin.
 Quite unlike the lions in the wild, the Wetaskiwin Lions have a 50 year history of assisting the community in which they live. As explained by Club President Cliff Reed, “The values of the Lions are to work for others.  There is no ‘self’ in Lions. Another value of Lions is the family. The Lions Club is a family working together to do the things needed in the community where the government doesn’t find enough money”.
 The local Lions took a huge leap at their meeting on July 25th, 2011, when they voted to make a substantial donation of $30,000 to the Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society (WCTS). The purpose of the donation is to assist the WCTS with the purchase of a handi-van to maintain and improve the level of service it provides to the community.
 Mark McFaul, President of the Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society calls it a win-win situation. “We purchased a bus from Bashaw that is fairly new and with low mileage as they are purchasing a new one. This van will increase the reliability of the transportation system in Wetaskiwin. This purchase will take the heat off because most of our vans are high mileage and even a blown tire, routine maintenance or a breakdown can compromise the transportation service.”
 Cliff Reed talks about the donation. “As a club, as a whole in their past, the Lions decided that the Handi-van Society (this is the old Society before the Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society was formed) approached the Lions because they needed money to purchase vans to serve the community. The Lions Club decided it benefits the community, is needed in the community and said let’s jump on board. They took their casino funding and set aside $5000 every year to assist with purchase of vans. The last piece of information from the Wetaskiwin Transportation Society is every van they have is used every day.”
 He went on to say, “Actually it (the decision to make a $30,000 donation) came up rather quickly this time because of a request from the Wetaskiwin Transportation Society to assist with the purchase of a van.” Driving the decision made by the Lions was, “Our $30,000 contribution will enable the Transit Society to carry larger groups of people and this bus will enable them to do that. The Executive Committee made the decision on behalf of all the members to contribute $30,000 towards the purchase and a van was purchased from the town of Bashaw. It is undergoing inspection and installation of logos in preparation for service.”
 McFaul speaks highly of the service clubs in Wetaskiwin. “The service clubs are to be commended for helping community in which they live. That’s what it is all about. For the Lions Club to donate the $30,000 to purchase this bus they are benefiting everybody. At one point in everyone’s life they will likely use the bus.”
 The next big event of the Lions Club is a pancake breakfast on August 27th during the Ag and Arts Festival. The breakfast will be held in conjunction with the Santa’s Anonymous toy run at the Drill Hall.  The Lions have diligently worked at bingos and casinos and hosted special events over the years to support local community causes. President Reed outlines some of these. “Our main projects in Wetaskiwin would be the playgrounds we are doing in the (Lions) campsite, Parkdale School and Sacred Heart. As mentioned, we look extensively at handi-vans. The third main service is for Sight, a big part of the Lions Club. We do fundraising for CNIB, for eye lead dogs and fundraise to perform eye surgery for the third world countries. The Lions also conduct an eyeglass collection service.”
 The official presentation of the cheque from Lions President Cliff Reed to WCTS President Mark McFaul was made on Wednesday,  August 10th  at 11a.m. Possession of the van will take place later in the month of August.



Grrub Tub
What’s Grub Tub?
Grub Tub is a voluntary program developed by Wetaskiwin
Regional Public Schools (WRPS) to assist the schools in
offering nourishing food to hungry students.
How does it work?
Whenever staff from WRPS come together in groups for
Professional Development or special events, they are invited
to participate by bringing an item of nourishing food to
donate to the program. Each participating staff member
enters the name of a school of his/her choice into a draw to
win the proceeds of the food donations. Thus far, Grub Tub
donations have served hundreds of hungry students.
Some people ask, “Why should the rest of the
community have to be responsible for feeding
someone else’s children?”
Children cannot be expected to have the resources or means
to feed themselves if their families are not in a position to do
so. Being responsible community citizens requires that we all
share in looking after the well being of one another and in
particular, those who are most vulnerable: children and
seniors. “It takes a village to raise a child” (traditional African
proverb) is more than a cliché. It is a reality.
Why is it so important to feed hungry students?
Children who come to school hungry are disadvantaged in
many ways. They have difficulty in concentration and have
lower levels of energy to participate in the rigors of school.
Research is clear: hungry children are compromised
in their learning
Does Grub Tub have a negative impact on the community
Food Bank?
We believe that the Food Bank and the Grub Tub project are most
likely assisting the same families and children so, either way, it is of
benefit. In addition, if the Grub Tub program receives food items that
cannot be easily served in a school setting (eg. something like
macaroni that requires cooking and preparation), these items will be
donated to the Food Bank.
What kinds of food items are best to donate?
The best kinds of donations are nourishing foods that require little
handling and preparation. Examples are: whole grain granola bars,
apples, oranges, cheese, whole wheat crackers, peanut butter,
carrots, single serving fruit cups & soups, tetra pack milk and whole
grain cereals.
How can others get involved?
Those that who would like to support and encourage Grub
The Wetaskiwin Lions Club is collecting Grub Tub food for schools in
WRPS area and thanks their partners in Alberta Health Services for their
expertise and support through the SCHEP (School & Family
Community Health Education Program) Committee.

Wetaskiwin Lions Club, Alberta


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