I was able to check in with leaders of three of our local service clubs.
- Hugh Adams - Richvale Lions Club
- Noeline Paul - Richmond Hill Rotary Club
- Mike Marconi – Knights of Columbus
They are all saddened that they cannot be of service as they had been before we were hit with Covid-19 pandemic.
They are all optimistic, and have been able to do things these past few months to maintain their club. All are having Zoom meetings with their members, providing that needed connectedness.
Hugh is the long time and charter member of this Lions Club. He reported that he has been on lots of Zoom calls to other local clubs and the Lions International. He praised the on-line leadership training that he has partaken in. Lions International does stress to keep safe. It is a challenge to collect dues and even more so, to do fundraising. The monthly Texas Holdem Poker tournaments of course are not happening and they were a great source of funds to give back to the community. Hugh really hopes we can be buying their Christmas cakes!
Noeline is the incoming President of the Richmond Hill Rotary Club. She regards this pandemic time as a time to innovate. The club’s weekly Monday meetings have shifted from the Sheraton to Zoom meetings. This new format has allowed them to have speakers from all over, and she regards their meets and engaging and enjoyable. Like Hugh, Noeline has found the on-line leadership very worthwhile. This Rotary Club has been able to help the Yellow Brick House, the Richmond Hill Community Food Bank and orchestrated thank you cards being sent to staff at Mackenzie Health. Different types of fundraising are being considered. They would have loved to been able to organize the Terry Fox Run at the Mill Pond as they have for so many Septembers, but it has been cancelled.
Mike Marconi is with the Knights of Columbus, branch 5957. Keeping in touch with their members has been a priority. They started a program called "40 Cans for Lent" a few years ago asking their Parish family to contribute whatever they can each day for 40 days of Lent for the Richmond Hill Food Bank. This year they collected 9500 lbs of food and continue to and raised $3000.00 Every week they have Prayers via Zoom and do the Rosary with their Parish priest and Parish family. He sees it as is incredible that so many gather and take the time to pray for everyone and the current situation. They are hoping they will be having pancake breakfasts again soon.
All of these clubs are looking for ways to respond to our community’s needs, and have an eye on places of need beyond our borders. We are fortunate to have them. Please consider supporting their efforts, particularly post pandemic.