By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – A new service club focused on the villages of Long Sault and Ingleside is taking shape after its first election.
Former Lions and civic-minded South Stormont residents united to officially start a new charter on Thursday night.
“We had a difference of opinion and there was a need for a club here – that’s why we started anew,” said Lost Villages Lions Club president Gerry Potvin.
The 54-year-old Cornwall resident from Northfield Station and vice-chair Tim Gervais, a 23-year-old Cornwall resident from Bonville, recently disbanded from the Cornwall Township Lions Club (also known as the Bonville Lions Club based out of St. Andrews West). Potvin was a member for six years.
“Stuff wasn’t happening that should’ve been and it wasn’t fun anymore,” said Gervais, the cub of the club. “There’s no bad blood and if there is we would like to fix it.”
For the election, members rallied at Christ Church in Long Sault, but a permanent meeting place has yet to be established. Meetings are still scheduled for the first and third Tuesday of each month.
Most people have heard about the club through word of mouth. A social media campaign, website, and pamphlet literature are underway.
Suggested names included ‘Upper Canada Lions Club,’ ‘South Stormont Lions Club,’ and ‘Long Sault/Ingleside District Lions Club.’
“We didn’t want one village upset with the other so we went with a name that represented both after looking into their history,” said Potvin.
South Stormont Councillor Richard Waldroff is the club’s treasurer.
“I’ve never been a Lion, this is my first experience with them,” said Waldroff.
“I think the community in this area needs a service club. We haven’t had one in so long. The last one was the Rotarians, which was a number of years that collapsed with time and the age of its membership. Hopefully, we will attract young members to keep this going.”
Colleen Carter, a former Cornwall Seaway Lions Club member and advertising consultant for Ribfest, is secretary.
“We’re going to help build the community together,” said Carter.
Gervais described being a Lion as a chance to give back to the community, help those people in need and introduce new projects.
Already a seniors’ residence has approached the Lost Villages Lions Club for help with building a gazebo. Fundraising ideas will be discussed at the next meeting on May 21.
There is a one-time charter fee of $40 (Lions transferring into a new club get a lower price) and a $75 annual fee that applies to all members.
The next election is tentatively scheduled for mid-2017.
For more information, call Gerry Potvin at (613) 577-1808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.