The Lions Club of Henley-on-Thames celebrated its 45th charter anniversary with a luncheon held today at the Red Lion Hotel. Henley’s club members were joined by Lions from Maidenhead, Slough, Burnham, Bracknell and Warminster. Lion President Pam Pitts spoke about the work the club does in the local community and the various local organisations and individuals it supports. District Governor Alan Chapman congratulated the club on its membership and all the work it does in and around Henley. He cited his personal visit to the club remarking that he was very impressed with the fact that the Henley club members are involved in so many aspects of community service. Mayor of Henley, Cllr Lorraine Hillier, an honorary member of the club, thanked the Lions for all that they do for the community and said how much she has enjoyed the club meetings that she has been able to attend during her year in office. The mayor was accompanied by her mother, Mrs Shirley Hillier, who, by all accounts, thoroughly enjoyed the luncheon and is hoping to attend the club’s April business meeting.
Teams entered from Trinity, Valley Road and Nettlebed Schools, Mencap, 1st Henley Guides, Sophie Bigness and her family, and for the first time 1st Henley Brownies, the Henley Sea Cadets and the Royal Marine Cadets.
Sue Fitzsimons, teacher from Trinity School was presented with a new trophy for their continued support of this event by the Mayor, Councillor Lorraine Hillier. Every year the school always have the most swimmers and teams than any other group. Sue organises the participation in this event and encourages all the children to enter.
Liz Preston, from Henley Lions said, “So far we have raised £3785 half of which will stay with the groups which raised the sponsorship and half to our club’s charity fund. With the club’s share we will be giving £1,000 for the Day to Remember – a family fun-filled activity day at the Chiltern Centre and the rest will be shared out to other local charities. Henley Indoor Sports Centre gave their pool and facilities freely. Our thanks must go to the staff there under their manager, Ashley Debell, who himself did the job of lifeguard for the last session!”
The top teams for number of lengths swam were Trinity Goofy Goldfish (97 lengths) followed by Henley Royal Marines Cadets (86), in 3rd place was 1st Henley Guides Penguins team who swam 84 lengths and 4th were Valley Road Sting Ray team with 82.
Michaela Clarke, Leader of 1st Henley Brownies said, “Our young team of four did really well to swim 66 lengths. I was so proud of them and they had a great time. It was the first time for us at this event but we’ll definitely be back next year to support this very worthy cause.”
At our March business meeting the club presented a cheque in the amount of £1,000 to the Footsteps organisation. Footsteps is located in Dorchester, Oxfordshire and aids children to become mobile. Most of Footsteps clients suffer from Multiple Dystrophy and can take years of intense therapy to learn to walk unaided. Maggie Davies accepted the cheque on behalf of Footsteps. The donated funds were raised through our Santa’s Grotto effort during the lead up to last Christmas.
Henley Lions presented a cheque for £1,000 to the Chiltern Centre for Disabled Children on Thursday last week to fund another Day to Remember for the children and their families. Mel Williams, Chair of the Lions said, “The funds were donated to the Henley Lions by the Shanly Foundation and were originally intended for Christmas parcels but as that project was fully funded for this year the trustees agreed to allow us to divert their donation to the Chiltern Centre.”
The second Day to Remember was a huge success. A good number of our clients and their families enjoyed a variety of events to include face painting, cookie decorating, ceramic plate painting, donkeys from a local sanctuary and a brilliant magician to name just a few.
Henley Lions have been involved in the annual Christmas parcels project for many years. However, 13 years ago, the club took on the entire project which involves securing funding, procuring the contents, ordering all the contents, packing all the parcels, organising all the deliveries and then delivering all the parcels. This year the club delivered parcels to 92 needy individuals and families in our local area. The parcels contain a variety of food stuffs which help make the Christmas holiday period a little more enjoyable for the recipients.