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St. Eleanors Lions Club looking forward to 2019

Stewart Arkwell is the secretary treasurer of the St. Eleanors Lions Club. The club has been serving its community for more than 57 years.
Stewart Arkwell is the secretary treasurer of the St. Eleanors Lions Club. The club has been serving its community for more than 57 years. - Colin MacLean

SUMMERSDE, P.E.I. - For 57 years the St. Eleanors Lions Club has been a hub for its community and, for the moment at least, has no intentions of relinquishing that responsibility.

With 2018 now in the past, the Journal Pioneer decided to check in with a few local non-profit groups working to make the community a better place and see how they did last year and what they’re looking forward to in 2019.

The St. Eleanors Lions Club has 20 male members and 27 female members. The Lions and Lionesses act independently for some projects and jointly for others. Both are based out of their longtime clubhouse at 121 East Dr.

The building is owned by the City of Summerside and leased back to the group.

“In St. Eleanors, before the city amalgamated, (the club) was pretty much the only place you could go for anything. Half the people in St. Eleanors were married there,” said Stewart Arkwell, the group’s long-time treasurer.

The service group’s mission was originally to do community work and raise funds to assist people with visual impairments. Its scope of focus has evolved over the years to include people with other forms of disabilities. The club also spends money helping out families in need around Christmas time, preparing food and gift hampers in partnership with Greenfield Elementary School, among other community initiatives.

“If we can continue on with what we’re doing, we’ll be doing pretty well.”

Arkwell said that in the past year the clubhouse has seen more use than usual as it has a couple of new programs occupying the space regularly.

Monday nights is the Tops group, then there is chair yoga on Tuesday and Thursday morning, Wednesday nights it’s the Scouts and Friday nights it’s the dart players.

Those are just the regular events — there are also one-off special events like weddings, anniversaries, community meetings and conferences.

To raise funds, the club sells Christmas trees, puts on roast beef dinners, holds auctions and sells tickets to a cash lottery draw.

Arkwell said 2019 is gearing up to be an exciting one for the club, as plans are in the works to secure funding for renovations to the building.

If the money is secured the resulting renovations will provide some much-needed new life to the clubhouse so it can continue to serve the community for many years. 

Other than the renovations, Arkwell said there is not a great deal of new programming or events planned for 2019, but members will continue to put all their efforts into current programming.

“If we can continue on with what we’re doing, we’ll be doing pretty well.”

Twitter.com/JournalPMacLean

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