Community club in jeopardy

Apollo Bay Lions Club members, from left, president Andy Nicholas, Carla Nicholas, Jo Forrest and Craig Forrest hope to attract more Lions members to save the club from folding.

Apollo Bay Lions Club members, from left, president Andy Nicholas, Carla Nicholas, Jo Forrest and Craig Forrest hope to attract more Lions members to save the club from folding.

AN Apollo Bay service club which has injected more than $400,000 into the community could cease to exist next month unless more people join up.

Apollo Bay Lions Club’s membership numbers have dropped to eight and president Andy Nicholas said the club had been struggling for members for the past five years.

Mr Nicholas said the club would decide at the end of the month if it would fold – ending a 43-year link with the community.

“I don’t know what it is – it could be the membership fee you have to pay or the fact people are so busy,” he said.

“We’ve done everything we can, as far as putting stuff in news sheets and speaking on community radio.”

The club will have a dinner at the Great Ocean Hotel on Wednesday and hopes potential new members will attend.

Mr Nicholas said he could stay on as president but the club needed to fill the positions of treasurer and secretary.

“Most people on the committee seem to be one more than one committee – it might be stretching a bit thin,” he said.

“There’s every possibility we might have to close which is really unfortunate considering we’ve been going for 43 years and put $400,000 back into the community.

“If they’re gone, things like the driving lessons for the Year 12s at the school and our paper pick-up go as well.

“We put an average of $10,000-plus into the community a year.”

The club has built the Apollo Bay Lions Village for senior residents, playgrounds and barbecues, funded a resuscitation unit for the town’s paramedics and supported Otway Health palliative care.

Mr Nicholas said he joined the club about nine years ago because he taught at Apollo Bay P-12 College and wanted to help the club.

“It would be a shame if it folded, it’s been fantastic for me,” he said.

Mr Nicholas said people of all ages could join and should contact fellow member Jo Forrest to attend next week’s dinner.

“We meet once a month, it’s only an hour of their time,” he said.

“It’s what you’re prepared to do and what you’re able to do.”

 

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