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