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29 November 2023
By Sean O’Connell
Stawell Lions Club will enter a period of recess in coming weeks with a lack of members impacting the club’s ability to function.
Lions’ global membership team will take over the running of the club during the recess, which can last up to two years, as it looks for new members.
Stawell president Marie Hosking said the service club’s usual activities in the town, including its Christmas lights competition, would not run during the period.
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“While the global team finds new members, it won’t be able to conduct normal business,” she said.
“We normally support the Easter carnival at the Stawell Gift – we won’t be able to do that next year.”
Mrs Hosking said fundraising efforts would also be paused as new members were sought.
“Obviously fundraising is a major thing we do. Every dollar we make is donated back into other projects,” she said.
“Recently, we gave money to Stawell hospital for a monitor in the oncology ward, and we used to give $100 each week to The Cottage, a welfare group for people who are struggling with food, or might need petrol or a voucher for a train ticket.
“We have donated enough to The Cottage to keep our commitment going for another 12 months.
“Hopefully the new group of members will be able to keep that going.”
Plan to rebuild
Mrs Hosking said the Stawell club had three members wanting to continue and needed at least five, including those willing to take on office bearer positions, to operate.
“Five is a minimum. There are three staying on, but none of them want office bearer positions,” she said.
“That is president, secretary and every position needed to be an incorporated entity.”
Mrs Hosking said she and her husband, Murray, had served as president and secretary of the club for the past five years.
“You are only supposed to do these roles for two years and you can only do these things so many times,” she said.
“A lot of people who would have done these roles in the past are now in their 80s.”
Mrs Hosking said the club was hoping to attract new people from different demographics as it sought to rebuild membership.
“The newly retired are the ideal age group, but younger people are most welcome,” she said.
“For people who have newly come into the district, it can be a great way to meet people and develop connections.
“My husband and I moved to Stawell eight years ago and have met some wonderful people through Lions. We have been particularly fortunate to have a nice group of people, a pleasant atmosphere and I’ve always enjoyed our dinner meetings.
“There is a camaraderie in the group.”
Mrs Hosking said the volunteer shortage was being felt community wide, with past Lions club members often volunteering with multiple organisations.
“Unfortunately, it seems to be across the board. Every single service group is struggling for volunteers,” she said.
The entire November 29, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire November 29, 2023 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!