By Jamie Rieger
For the past 60 years, the Bow Island Lions Club has been dedicated to serving the people of the community and raising funds to help with a wide range of projects. From playground equipment and local sports teams to equipment at that Bow Island Health Centre, other health facilities, and recently, for service dog for a boy who suffers from seizures.
On Saturday, the club celebrated not only its 60th anniversary, but also the opening of its new recycling facility. In October, 2011, the Bow Island Lions club members began discussing what to do with their building; whether to do necessary repair work or replace it altogether.
“At that point, I was in my first year as president and I asked the club to give me a couple months to see how economical a new, environmentally-friendly building would be,” said Bouw.
Bouw soon learned that grant funding was available for energy efficient facilities, so he began applying for grants and along with donations from contractors, local businesses, and individuals, soon was able to raise the capital needed for a new recycling facility.
“All the donations and a big dose of good luck made it all happen,” he said.
That dose of good luck came in the from a generous unnamed inheritance fund that came from a spouse of a past member.
The new recycling center is now able to handle a lot more product than just paper, cardboard, and specific plastics. With a recently installed plastic chipper and tin crusher, they can now accept all plastic containers, tin cans, and other recyclable that get shipped to Calgary or Edmonton for further processing.
Past International president, Judge Brian Stevenson, was in attendance for the grand opening and said, “This facility is a representation of all the efforts the Lions Club members have put into the community and have for the past 60 years.”
Club members were honoured for their year’s of service to the club, including Dave Robertson, who has been involved with the Lions Club for the past 60 years and was made a charter member of the organization.
Besides Stevenson, other dignitaries to attend the event were Bow Island mayor, Gordon Reynolds, MLA Drew Barnes, and district governor, Monte Weisser.
“To me, the Lions Club are the epitome of volunteerism,” said Reynolds. “Our community is made better, made stronger because of them. The hours they have put in at the recycling facility has been an absolute asset.”
The banquet also saw other members receive pins and plaques for their years of service to the club.