Service clubs feel the impact of COVID-19

‘We are unable to do any fundraisers so it will definitely put a crimp in any community help’

The 108 Lions ICE OFF contest boat. (Submitted photo)

Local service clubs are among those feeling the impact of COVID-19.

Donna White, president of the 108 Mile Ranch Lions Club says they’ve postponed monthly meetings where they discuss received donation requests, review new and current projects and review community involvement.

“We had to cancel our monthly bingos which were not just a fundraising venue for the Lions but had also become a local outing for local seniors where they did not have to drive very far. Our May Bingo will need to be cancelled as well. This was the final 2019-2020 Bingo and the draw for $250 and one night at Kamloops Coast Hotel. [The] winner will be now be drawn in May 2020 from those participants that had already entered the draw.”

With the Mile 108 Elementary closed, they’ve also not held their monthly pancake breakfasts, however, the annual Ice Off Contest is currently taking place.

For the contest, a boat is placed on the 108 Lake with a clock and an anchored flag. When the anchor breaks through the ice, the Canadian flag raises and trips a switch that stops the clock. The winner is the person who guesses closest to that moment.

”Our Ice Off ticket sales were down because table sales at the Save On and Pharmasave were cancelled because of the COVID-19 following health recommendations of social distancing as well as not handling money. The Ice Off sales are now over.”

Once the Ice Off boat flies its flag, and the time has been confirmed the winner will be notified by phone. The first prize is $200, second is $100 chamber bucks and third is $50 chamber bucks, according to White.

They’re also looking at making a financial donation to both the 100 Mile Food Bank and Loaves & Fishes, according to White, who adds that two members were going to attend a training session in Harrison that has been cancelled.

President of the 100 Mile House Lions, Val Clemont, says that with everyone at home there’s not much happening.

“Pretty much all of our major projects, up to this point, have all been cancelled.”

This included the big Lions convention that’s held twice a year which had been scheduled for Kamloops, she says noting that is a big thing for the Lions to take that kind of a hit. They did manage to hold their elections by April 15 over email with the help of Judy Simkins, says Clemont.

“My golly has it worked and it worked really good and it’s done.”

Justin Case was elected as the incoming president and will take over in June.

Clemont says she phones the members as much as she can, especially the senior members to make sure they’re all ok. There are still some projects in the works, including an organ donor campaign, according to Clemont.

“We’re hoping that everybody is safe, you know, and paying attention to the whole thing about staying home. Don’t be out there too much other than to get groceries or whatever… This is a very serious thing that’s happening in our world and we either pay attention or we lose.”

If someone is in dire need, Clemont said to contact them to see what they could do.

The Shriners have had to postpone their annual dinner and auction, according to Glen Clancy.

“We will hold the event when we can. We have phoned most ticket holders.”

The social distancing restriction have also had a significant impact on the Forest Grove Lions, according to treasurer Dale Gent.

“We have cancelled all meetings as our meeting place has also been closed. We are unable to do any fundraisers so it will definitely put a crimp in any community help. Between the fires and now this, we have had three years of not being able to do much of anything. We were in the planning of getting the Red Neck Regatta going again.”

It’s important for everybody to take care and not infect their neighbours and loved ones, says Gent.

“Do more facetime by computer. Go out only when you have to.”

The Rotary Club cancelled all of their in-person meetings in early March and are currently trying to connect in virtual meetings, according to president Gisela Janzen.

“As most of our projects involve meetings and physical interactions we are in limbo with everything that was planned.”

They’ve also been told they can apply for a grant through the Rotary Foundation that would help with the purchase of needed medical equipment.

“This is a topic we will discuss and most certainly pursue. We want to help where we can!”

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