The Lions Club of Grand Cayman continued its tradition of bringing Christmas cheer to the community through several Christmas events during the month of December 2006.
The club kicked off its hectic Christmas schedule with its Funds for the Needy cash collection, which provides money for the Christmas programmes.
On 9 December members took to the streets with empty cans asking the public for donations.
‘Without the donations from the public we would not be able to provide some light in the lives of some members of our community at Christmas, a time when everyone should be cheerful,’ Lion President Albert Anderson said. ‘I thank the public for their generous donations and assure them that their funds were applied to the cause of spreading Christmas cheer.’
On 13 December the club took part in the Sunrise adult training centre’s Christmas party at Ristorante Papagallo. Lions spent a few hours with the Sunrise staff and students and provided gifts for all.
On 14 December the club hosted a Christmas party for the Lighthouse school students and staff.
17 December was when the club hosted the All-Island Children’s Christmas Party at the Lions Community Centre. Some 200 children were bussed in from all parts of the island where they played in bouncing castles and were served food by Lions members assisted by a few individuals.
While these activities were going on, members also spent every evening for two weeks wrapping gifts that would be delivered on Christmas morning.
Once again, they received assistance from some very generous members of the public who were keen to help.
The club’s Christmas activities were closed out 25 December when a large number of members, assisted by some individuals, left their own families at 7am to meet at the Lions Community Centre to distribute gifts to all corners of Grand Cayman to the elderly.
Several teams of Lions and friends left the Lions Community Centre at around 8am and worked until around 2pm delivering the gifts. This particular activity has a deep history and meaning in the club. It was started by the late Mrs. Joyce Hylton who was a keen community worker and whose son Mike Simmonds was a charter member of the club. She was the principal organizer of the first such event, providing all the names of the needy persons, and running the gift wrapping and delivery headquarters out of her home in Tropical Gardens.
This association extended to her being the advisor to the club throughout the ensuing years as to who in the community needed its assistance, a subject about which she was extremely knowledgeable through her role as government welfare and probation officer. The club this year dedicates this activity to the memory of the late Mrs. Hylton.
The members were finally able to kick back and relax on 30 December when it had its own post-Christmas party.
The organisation of such a demanding schedule is no easy task. Second Vice President Anthony Ritch who is responsible for Social Services paid tribute to the Lion who made it all happen.
‘Lion John (Ebanks), vice district governor, has once again taken the lead in this important series of Christmas events and made sure that they came off like clockwork. He has worked tirelessly over the period to ensure all commitments were met, gifts were wrapped, and everyone did their assigned task. On behalf of the membership of the club I thank him for his dedication to this project.’
The club now settles back into its normal activities having completed a very challenging Christmas period.
This challenge however is not new to the club and each year it tries to make it better.
Mr. Anderson recognises the effort that the membership has put into making it a success.
‘I applaud the membership for rolling up their sleeves and putting their shoulders to the wheel to get us through this demanding period without complaint. They deserve a little break now…but they can only get a little one. We have lots more work to do. I also thank those members of the public who gave us invaluable help and we will recognise them personally.’