In 2014 Beecroft Cheltenham Lions Club celebrated 10 years since it was first Chartered in 2004.
The original impetus for the Club came from local individuals who had been members of Lions Clubs for many years. These include Mr. Bede Long of Malton Road, Beecroft and Mr. Keith Robinson of Carlisle Crescent, Beecroft. Mr. Long was responsible in Lions for establishing new Clubs and he saw such a need in Beecroft. He lobbied local shop-keepers in the Beecroft Arcade to join the Lions movement. His bias to these shop-keepers was because he was hoping that the Lions Club would form a local Chamber of Commerce.
At this time in Beecroft, Rotary was a very strong organisation. The Lions Club did not want to repeat what Rotarians were doing: instead, Lions focused on local projects that would be of assistance to the Beecroft and local community.
While shop-keepers were initially members other members of the local community formed the Club. The first members noted on the original charter document are:
Lesley Bell, Robert Boyd, Paul Chambers, Eric Ewin, Elizabeth Fogalen, Barbara Clanville, Craig Horner, Glenys Johnson, Mark Lyons, Roy Marzano, Malcolm Michael, Frances Michael, Elizabeth Milford, Terrance Perry, Luciano Peruch, Robert Quillfildt, Harold Savitz, Rob Sawtell, Joanna Sim, Les Strong, Hugh Talbot.
The Beecroft Cheltenham Lions set out to raise money for local projects. The first project undertaken was to provide walkers for children from a local school who needed these for daily assistance. Later, these walkers were upgraded to mobile chairs.
A subsequent project was to raise sufficient funds to enable the construction of a disabled toilet in the Arcade. This was completed and opened in 2008.
In 2011 the Club raised $67 000 for a dialysis unit at Hornsby Hospital.
The current fund raising project has been for cystic fibrosis at the Children’s hospital at Westmead and already $15 000 has been raised to assist those suffering with cystic fibrosis.
How does the Club raise these funds? Club members have been very active in the Community drawing on the generosity of local persons. Each year, “Beecroft in Bloom” has been held on the 2nd Saturday in September. Each year this festival has begun with an Art Exhibition which has been widely supported in the Community. Wheel-barrows filled with flowers, hanging baskets and lots of flowers adorn our streets during this wonderful festival.
Money is raised by sponsorship from local businesses and the activities on the day – especially the Sausage sizzle. Stalls have lined our streets selling a wide variety of goods and foodstuffs. A great day for all and a very worthy fund-raiser.
Other means of raising money have included Trivia nights and a community based raffle.
The Lions Club of Beecroft Cheltenham continues today and celebrates 10years of Community Service in May this year.
Dr. Margaret Talbot. Member Beecroft Cheltenham Lions Club 2014