For 66 years, the Lions Club has served Pitt Meadows, helping out those in need, from recycling eye glasses to raising money for guide dogs, and making the community better.
And it has done so out of a small building on Harris Road, called the Lions Den, since 1956.
But now that building is in need, and so are the Lions.
Lions Club International is a service group founded 100 years ago and is now active in 200 countries. A convention celebrating that milestone will take place June 30 to July 4 in Chicago, Ill.
The Pitt Meadows Lions Club was chartered in 1951, with 18 original members. The first club meeting was held at the Wild Duck Inn. The club also met at council chambers, the old recreational hall, homes of various members, the Old Anderson Store, and the old Pitt Meadows elementary school.
In 1956, the current Lions Den was built, with materials purchased from stripping of the old school house.
The Den was expanded in 1975, and renovated in 1998. But much of the original roof remains. It needs to be replaced.
The Den sustained extensive flooding after a pipe burst last month. Insurance covered the damage. New flooring was installed and the Den reopened to members on Thursday.
But there is no such insurance for the roof.
On Sunday, the club is hosting an event to raise money for a new one, estimated at $20,000.
The fundraiser at the Jolly Coachman on Ford Road, 4:30-6:30 p.m. The cost is $20 for a burger and fries and either a beer or wine. There will also be a silent auction.
The Lions Den is not only the focal point for Lions’ activities, it is also a great source of community service in itself to various non-profit groups, said club member Rena Mazor, a newer member.
Some of the older members joined in 1971, 1980, and 1986.
The club opened to women in 1997, and since there have been three female club presidents.
Club fundraisers include Christmas tree chipping, pancake breakfasts, flower basket sales, hot dog carts. This year the Lions will be doing a yard sale to celebrate the club’s centennial.
Mazor said club beneficiaries include the Ridge Meadows Hospital, Pitt Meadows library, and Pitt Meadows fire department. Lions Club members help firefighters with their annual boot drive for the burn unit, and serve breakfast at the local hospice.
The club also supports hearing and sight conservation and drug and alcohol awareness, renting its building out to the latter for meetings. It also rents to Girl Guides.
The Lions also supported a project for the city’s centennial, consisting of two dioramas depicting the beginning of the Katzie Village.
The Lions built two showcases with plaques – one for city hall and one for Edith McDermott elementary, after a Grade 6 teacher at the school came forward with the diorama project.
Every dollar the club raises goes back into the community or its provincial, national, and international commitments.
Other local beneficiaries include a disabled lift for the old recreation hall and the cenotaph, search and rescue and law enforcement efforts.
Today, the club has 20 members.
They need their building, Mazor said, to continue their service to the community.
The Pitt Meadows Lions are always open to new members. Current members meet the first and third Thursdays of every month at 7 p.m., at the Lions Den.
Contact president Dave Duncan at 604-466-2787, secretary Dave Campbell at 604-463-4560, membership director Tom Hardy at 604-465-5060, or Mazor at 604-460-1398 (pittmeadowslionsclub.ca).
• For tickets to Sunday’s roof fundraiser, call Gwen O’Connell at 604-460-7006 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or pay at the door.