Cowra Lions Club conducted their 59th annual changeover on Saturday evening July 6 at the Golf Club.
Chairperson for the evening, Lion Graham Apthorpe welcomed members and visitors including Deputy Mayor Judi Smith, Lawrence and Robyn Ryan and Lions Barry and Marilyn Miller (Boorowra) and Terry and Deidre Carroll (Grenfell).
Lion Terry Carroll delivered the Acknowledgement to Country, whilst Deputy Mayor Judi Smith delivered a very informative Toast to Lions International, to which Lion Ian Acret suitably responded.
During the year, with the assistance of ALF, Cowra Lions donated $9500 to various organisations and schools in the area.
The prestigious Lions Citizen of the Year was awarded to Robyn Ryan.
Lion Barry Green was the recipient of the Lion of the Year award.
The Board for 2019-2020 is President David Thomas, Vice President Graham Apthorpe, Secretary Sue Thomas and Treasurer Milton Barnett.
Outgoing President, Ian Acret, thanked the members for their hard work during the last 12 months.
"First, I would like to sincerely thank the members of this great club for your efforts in making the past 12 months so successful, of course without everyone of you, we could not have achieved what we have over the past year," he said.
"We have had a very busy year with activities ranging from the barbecues at the Christmas Street Festival, the Festival of Sakura Matsuri and International Understanding and our community service events for Live Better and NAIDOC week.
"A couple of our regular fundraising events were the annual Santa project, Lions Christmas Cakes and Lion Mints collection. I don't like to single out members, but I must thank Lion Barry Green for his amazing efforts in these projects.
"Our Youth of the Year and our ongoing senior's movie days were very successful. The club manned the gates at the football semi-finals held in Cowra and finally got around to giving the shelters at the Lions' Park at Woodstock a much-needed coat of paint. The Gem and Collector's Fair was again a great fundraiser.
"The highlight of the year I feel was our successful grant application to ALF to help fund the memorial to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Cowra Breakout. My sincere thanks to Lions Graham and Milton for the work put in to obtain this grant.
"I would like to acknowledge a member who, behind the scene every week volunteers his time at the Cowra Food Hall - a great initiative and mention Lion Roy Cox for his efforts which I am sure are very much appreciated.
"Finally, thank you to the members of Cowra Lions Club for the privilege to lead the club over the past twelve months in which have been some challenging times, but have come out the other side stronger for the experience.
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"I would like to wish Incoming President David Thomas, his Board and the Club an amazing and successful year."
In response, Incoming President David Thomas said he was looking forward to the next 12 months.
Thank you for the honour of letting me lead the club for the next 12 months and thank you to Past President Ian Acret for his leadership over the past two and a half years," he said.
"My aims for the year include to educate members in the use of electronic media so that Facebook and "MyLion" can be used as a communication and learning tool.
"Membership growth with the theme "Just Ask", to ask people from a cross section of the community, businesses and organisations to join Lions and make a difference, Participate in the District's Diabetes awareness program, continue to increase our community involvement, to make the club compliant with Child Safety and OH&S legislation, continue our association with the Breakout Camp and finalise a future home for the storage of the Lions' gear."