Rip roaring Lions fuel community goodness

Toko Lions, led by president Pam Macdonald, has had a fantastic year.

Through a variety of projects, the group has generated a total of more than $35,000.

Of that sum, $32,651 has been distributed to worthy causes, most within the local community.

Fundraising has been a combined effort from Toko Lions members, their partners and families, along with strong support from commercial sponsors at times.

Toko Lions is "an extremely pro-active and vibrant group of men and women of all ages who revel in serving their community" says Pam, adding they also enjoy the camaraderie at monthly meetings and social gatherings.

"Members pride themselves on their 'can do' attitude and strong support from their local community," she says.

While many organisations face the challenge of declining membership, Toko Lions is going from strength to strength.

The group is in its 36th year and this year's contribution to the community shows the group is more than meeting the challenge of maintaining membership. Pam says they will "continue to serve the community in a vibrant manner".

Key projects have included: Chateau to Plateau bike ride, Te Wera and Matau bike rides, car parking and security, wood chop/sale of fire wood, barbecue at annual calf sales and bar staff at Stratford races.

Key sponsors are BNZ, the main sponsor of Chateau to Plateau Bike Ride 2013; 1 tonne quality motor cycle apparel which donated a jacket for the first prize; B Creative Printing & Graphics, Suzuki NZ, Ravensdown and Ballance along with "almost every Stratford business", says Pam.

She also thanks the Hann Brothers for donating trees for firewood, saying four loads of wood were donated to worthy recipients with the remainder sold to raise funds.

Pam says Te Wera and Matau farmers made their farms available for bike rides, which in turn helped raise funds to assist causes like the Huiakama community bus.

This year's recipients of grants from the community group include:

Taranaki Rescue Helicopter, Huiakama community bus, Central Taranaki St John Ambulance, Toko School, Relay for Life, Ronald McDonald House, Te Wera Recreation Trust, Rotokare Trust, Kiwi Trust, Makahu School, Camp Quality, Ozanam House, Stratford Baptist Group for their Vanuatu Trip, Te Rangimarie Hospice, Stratford High School for their France Trip, Nepal Water Project, Two youths on Spirit of Adventure, TDHB Children's Ward Mural, Diabetes Taranaki, Eastern Districts Schools-Wellington Trip, Victim Support, Toko Hall Society, Fred Hollows Foundation, Youths in sport and Medical Emergency Booklet. For more about Toko Lions, email Nicky Macdonald-Wells

- Stratford Press

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