Grand Bank Lions and Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion cel­e­bra­tion of Christ­mas spans 35 years

The Southern Gazette - - EDITORIAL - BY CARL ROSE

Thirty-five years ago, the Grand Bank Lions Club held its first Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion with the Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion for Com­mu­nity Liv­ing.

And they have been do­ing it ev­ery year since.

This year the club and the as­so­ci­a­tion got to­gether Dec. 9 at the Grand Bank Lions Com­mu­nity Cen­tre for a din­ner, dance and a visit from Santa.

It has be­come a big cel­e­bra­tion with more than 100 peo­ple at­tend­ing — mem­bers, clients and fam­ily of the Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion, com­mu­nity lead­ers, church of­fi­cials, lo­cal mu­si­cians and Lions with vol­un­teers who helped them cook and serve the meal.

The Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion is a vol­un­teer ad­vo­cacy group work­ing for equal and fair treat­ment for peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties. The as­so­ci­a­tion works within the Grand Bank, For­tune and La­ma­line re­gion.

Alv­ina Brushett, pres­i­dent of the Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion, said events such as the Christ­mas party of­fer so­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties who oth­er­wise would not have them.

She said the Christ­mas party hosted by the Lions is the high­light of the year for the as­so­ci­a­tion and its clients.

“Try­ing to find the words to thank the Grand Bank Lions Club is near im­pos­si­ble. This party tonight marks about 35 years they have been host­ing this event,” she said. “This is not only the high­light of the year for us but many Lions mem­bers will tell you it’s the high­light of their year also.”

Grand Bank Lions pres­i­dent Charles Savoury told the gath- er­ing that the Lions take great plea­sure in host­ing the party and they look for­ward to it each year.

“I would like to thank Alv­ina and her com­mit­tee for the work they put into the Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion and to let them know the Lions Club is al­ways here to sup­port them in ev­ery way,” he said.

Brushett pointed out the com­mit­ment of the Lions Club does not stop with the an­nual Christ­mas party.

“We have free use of their build­ing and equip­ment to sponsor the Fathers’ Day pro­gram and I might add that with­out the Fathers’ Day pro­gram this as­so­ci­a­tion could not sur­vive be­cause our board is sim­ply too small to raise the money needed to keep this as­so­ci­a­tion go­ing,” she ex­plained.

She also thanked Larry Os­mond for do­nat­ing his time and mu­sic for ev­ery so­cial the Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion has and the lo­cal mu­si­cians for pro­vid­ing the mu­sic be­fore the sup­per.

Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews thanked the Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion for its time and ef­fort on be­half of per­sons with dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties and com­mended the Lions Club for pro­vid­ing its build­ing and serv­ing din­ner.

He said pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties like this for peo­ple with dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties is very im­por­tant.

“The tal­ents and skills of per­sons with dif­fer­ence of abil­i­ties are vast and very im­por­tant to the com­mu­nity. Also, ev­ery­one can learn much from this beau­ti­ful group of peo­ple,” said Matthews.

Coun­cil­lor Jim Dunne brought greet­ings from the town of For­tune and con­grat­u­lated both the Gran-For-Line As­so­ci­a­tion and the Grand Bank Lions.

Eleanor Clouter is happy to re­ceive a gift from Santa.

Above: It’s ob­vi­ous that Leone Hol­lett (mid­dle) is hav­ing a good time. Live-in-su­per­vi­sor Bar­bara Hardy and co-worker Michelle Hol­lett are also en­joy­ing them­selves.

PHOTOS CARL ROSE/SPE­CIAL TO TC ME­DIA

Lion Lance Black­more still en­joys dish­ing out the turkey din­ners at the Gran-For-Line Christ­mas party. He’s been do­ing it for 25 years. Nel­lie Coombs was one of the sev­eral vol­un­teers who as­sisted the Lions in their ef­forts.

Janet Han­ham and Ricky Old­ford en­joy a dance at the party.

Left: Lo­cal mu­si­cians vol­un­teered their time and tal­ents to pro­vide mu­sic for the oc­ca­sion (from left) Robert Par­sons, Velma Ste­wart, Stan Os­mond, Jimmy Strick­land, Larry Os­mond and Sadie Par­sons.

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