Red Deer Central Lions Club has been a big supporter of local speedskating and the Red Deer Club is named after the Lions. File photo from Red Deer Advocate

Central Alberta Lions Clubs celebrate 80 years

Red Deer Central, Innisfail and Lacombe Lions Clubs have supported communities for a generation

For 80 years, Central Albertans have benefited from the dedication of area Lions Clubs.

It’s a legacy that was celebrated earlier this month at Red Deer’s Pidherney Centre, where the Innisfail, Lacombe and Red Deer Central Lions Clubs gathered for a luncheon to mark the milestone.

Lions Clubs have been involved in just about every aspect of their communities. Beginning in 1938, the Lacombe club has been involved in everything from building tennis courts, sponsoring sports teams and providing milk to school children.

The Lacombe Lions Ball Tournament began in 1950 and ran for 39 years. It was once estimated that as many as 40 players who came to the tournament made it to the “big time,” including former Montreal Expos star Tim Wallach.

Lacombe’s club has also been a major supporter of the Lacombe Memorial Centre, most recently providing funds to equip the two bars at the centre.

Red Deer’s Lions Campground was a centennial project by the city’s club and is considered one of the best urban campgrounds around.

Innisfail Lions started up the Raspberry Park campground in the 1980s there and have been managing it for many years.

Lions clubs have also been major supporters of projects to provide eyeglasses for developing countries among other projects.

Red Deer Lions Club funded an aquatic therapy pool for Red Deer’s hospital in the 1980s. About 25 years later, the club stepped in again to raise funds for a new therapy pool.

When Canada celebrated its 150th birthday last year, all three clubs celebrated with projects.

Red Deer’s club donated $50,000 to the Red Deer City Soccer Association to be the title sponsor for the new soccer pitch at Westerner Park’s Agricentre. Along with an older pitch, Red Deer now has the biggest non-boarded indoor soccer fields in the province.

The Lacombe club partnered with the City of Lacombe to install a fountain in Cranna Lake. A plaque mounted on a large rock on the shore designates the project as the Lacombe Lions Fountain.

Innisfail’s club added a “zip cruze” to Raspberry Park to go along with a large toboggan hill added in 2015.

News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

128 Flags of Remembrance now flying in Sylvan Lake until Nov. 12

Centennial Park boasts 128 Canadian flags to honour 128,000 Canadians killed and missing in action.

Fall Food Drive set for Saturday in Red Deer

Organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Red Deer is counting down to CFR 45

Jointly hosted by Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce and Westerner Park

Mirror fire department still short volunteers

Fire department will close if volunteers can’t be found

Emazing Bike tour hits Red Deer

Cross-Canada electric bike tour to break world record

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as… Continue reading

Tiger Woods winning adds to Ryder Cup buzz

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Already the most intense competition in golf, the Ryder… Continue reading

Ex-Sabres captain Brian Gionta retires after 16 NHL seasons

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Brian Gionta has retired after 16 NHL seasons, two… Continue reading

Curling season kicks off after massive shake-up of multiple men’s teams

With so many top Canadian men’s curling teams opening this season with… Continue reading

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

OTTAWA — Newly released figures show Canadian officials have removed only a… Continue reading

Texas prisons often deny dentures to inmates with no teeth

HOUSTON — Inmates without teeth in Texas are routinely denied dentures because… Continue reading

Sex assault charge stayed against one British sailor, trial proceeds for other

HALIFAX — The Crown has stayed a sexual assault charge against a… Continue reading

Most Read