Camp Quality in Brisbane Australia gives kids a day to smile

by Leesa Petfield

Camp gives kids a day to smileCAMP Quality is a very special time for a group of children with cancer, to come together for a day and forget about hospitals, treatments and sickness.

They get the chance to be like ordinary kids and enjoy the entertainment of jumping castles, laughing clowns, face painting, rock wall climbing, Viv’s Farm, swimming, running and meeting Santa Claus.

The Lions Club International – District 201 Q 3, hosted Camp Quality last Sunday at Brennans Park, Bribie Island.

Camp co-ordinator Kevin Williams said this was the 21st camp held at Bribie Island by the Lions Club.

Lions Club members from nine local clubs and four clubs from surrounding areas gathered to assist in giving these children a very fun and memorable day.

The event is not only for Camp Quality children, but is also designed for families to come together, have a real picnic in the park and enjoy quality time as a family.

About 400 families and volunteers from Camp Quality attended the event.

Music from the 4OUR Radio, Bribie Island Big Band and the Brass Band kept the crowd entertained and Santa handed out about 220 gift bags to very excited children of the families, who are connected with Camp Quality.

Mr Williams said the day could not have happened without the support from many local businesses and people.

The businesses who supported the day were: Bribie Island RSL, Cornett’s Supa IGA, SES Bribie Island, Wrights Fruit Barn, Kerry Wright, RL & VA O’Brien, Our Radio FM 101.5, Affordable Entertainment, Wallum Group, Island Promotion and Costume Hire, Vive’s Farm, The Ferryman Cruises, Bribie Island Fire Brigade, Wayne the Train, Mr Rentals, Bribie Island Police, P & C Amusements and many others.

Event for the visually impaired has been held annually for more than three decades

By Charles Perry Times & Transcript Staff

Florence Gallant serves the turkey dinner at Saturday’s event.The Moncton Lions Club is modest about the Christmas dinner they provide each year for the visually impaired in the area.

“We really enjoy doing it,” says Lion club member Gloria Paschal. “It is as much fun for us as it is for them,” she said Saturday night, just prior to the annual dinner for visually impaired residents of southeastern New Brunswick and their spouses or family members.

The Moncton Lions and Lionettes totally do everything for this dinner,” said Arlene Hachey of Moncton, provincial president for the Canadian Institute for the Blind. “They buy the food, cook the meal and serve the meal.

“They do it year after year and are happy to do it,” she said.

More than 225 people were on hand for the dinner this year, not just from Metro Moncton but from various parts of Westmorland, Albert and Kent counties.

Paschal said they need about 10 to 12 turkeys and begin working on the meals a few days ahead of time.

“You can’t get that many turkeys out of the freezer, thawed, cooked and ready to serve, overnight,” she said.

Along with the dinner and dessert, she said one of the Lions Club members dresses as Santa Claus and presents a gift to each of their guests.

They wrap up the evening with some carolling, she said.

Clarence Curwin, who has been a member of the Moncton, Lions Club for 34 years, said the relationship between the Lions clubs and the visually-impaired goes back several decades to when famed writer and lecturer Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, spoke at a Lions international convention.

Her speech so inspirational, he said, that, since then, at least one Lions Club in most communities became involved with the helping the visually impaired in one way or another.

Curwin said the Christmas dinners for the visually impaired have been provided by the Moncton Lions Club, at least, since he joined it.

Julian Legere of Shediac, who has been visually impaired since birth due to cataracts, recalled going to the dinners back in 1954 and ’55. He said you always meet people you know and get to share common experiences with other blind people.

225 visually impaired people and their guests enjoy a turkey dinner at the Moncton Lions and Lionettes activity centre on Saturday night. It’s the 20th annual Christmas season dinner hosted by Moncton Lions Club members.“This is great, this is amazing,” said his daughter Patsy Legere, who accompanied her father to the dinner, along with her boyfriend Edgar LeBlanc. She had lived in Ontario for 40 years before returning to New Brunswick last year, she said, adding his other daughter Diane took her father to the dinner before that.

Windsor MacDonald of Moncton was accompanied by his daughter Ann Cormier. He said his vision loss began a couple of decades ago, noting he has not been able to drive a car since 1993.

MacDonald said he enjoys the Christmas dinners because he always meets other people there, most often, unexpectedly. A woman he plays cards with, regularly, was there one year with her visually impaired daughter, he said, adding he did not even know before then that she had a daughter who had vision problems.

Cormier said she may soon be able to go to the dinners based on her own condition, noting she has been diagnosed with macular degeneration.

Hachey explained that the macula is a “tiny spot” at the back of your eyes that gives detail to what you are seeing. With macula degeneration, she said you have to learn to make greater use of your peripheral vision to see.

Ludivine Arseneau of Moncton, accompanied by her husband Frank, said she started going to the CNIB the last couple of years as her vision deteriorated.

This marks the first year she was invited to the Christmas dinner and she said she has heard nothing but good things about the event.

Santa and the Wizard of Yo make the annual Uniontown Lions Christmas party a success

Club members enjoying the evening festivitiesThe 2008 Uniontown Lions Club Christmas party (photo album)was held last night at the Uniontown Community Park. The park and clubhouse was festively decorated with wreaths and Christmas lights and we were treated with Hors d’œuvre before the festivities.

Our Christmas party chairman, Bob Moffat was the evening’s emcee and had Lion Bud Bourn lead the club in a verse of “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”.



Eric Monroe, The Wizard of Yo



After dinner the kids all ran to the front pf the club to secure their seats for the entertainment and course arrival of the big man. The evening entertainment was provided by the Wizard of Yo AKA Eric Monroe.

Eric began playing with a classic wooden Yo Yo at the age of twelve and said it was winning a playground competition that gave him the passion to keep throwing and eventually landed him a job with Sports Illustrated and Universal. Eric said one of his inspirations had been the Smothers Brothers who was responsible for at least one of the resurgences of the yo yo.



Eric showed several tricks and had the club joining in laughing and clapping along, even from the back of the room I could her my daughters and niece and nephew howling at various tricks like shoot the moon, which Eric nicknamed the black eye. Monroe finished by having Spot, his imaginary yo yo dog, jump into his pocket. Moffat then led the club in a chorus of Jungle Bells in usher in Santa Claus.

Lion Jim and Marlene Raker with SantaSanta visited with the children on his way up the front of the room and joked about sitting on one child’s lap.  As I looked across the room I saw wide-eyed gazes from all of the children, this was indeed the moment that they had been waiting for. The children waited for their names to be called and then went to the front to visit with Santa.

It was a great night for children and adults alike.




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