A new Lions club is ready to roar in east Hamilton.
The Stipley Lions Club, parented by the Toronto Centennial Lions Club, launched Aug. 26 and plans to host its first event on Oct. 1.
Christian Hidalgo, president of the new Lions Club, said while the club is based in Hamilton’s Stipley neighborhood, it will serve all of east Hamilton.
The service club’s first event runs from 10 am to 5 pm on Oct. 1, in front of Giant Tiger, at 800 Queenston Rd. at the corner of Centennial Parkway.
“We’re doing a food and clothing drive with a barbecue,” said Hidalgo. “We’re asking people to bring non-perishable food and clothing. And we’re going to do a community barbecue with free hot dogs for everybody.”
Monetary donations will be accepted at the barbecue. Hot dogs have been donated by Lococo’s.
Previously a member of the Stoney Creek Lions Club, Hidalgo and 10 other founding members of the Stipley Lions recently formed a new organization to explore new opportunities to help the community.
“I want to keep myself busy,” said Hidalgo. “I want to be able to get out there more and help the community.”
Looking ahead, the Stipley Lions are planning to organize a Halloween hunt in October, where youngsters can dress up in costumes and hunt for candy. The club is still looking to secure a park venue for the event.
Hidalgo said the Stipley Lions will support community organizations like food banks, as well as Lions initiatives like Camp Trillium, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides and others.
“Our main emphasis is going to be helping the community,” said Hidalgo. “It’s a huge responsibility in our community right now.”
Hidalgo said the Stipley Lions are starting out small, but the service club hopes to eventually start sponsoring youth sports teams and offering post-secondary scholarships for high-achieving high school graduates in the near future.
The service club is also looking for new members. Anyone interested can visit the Stipley Lions Facebook page for more details.