New Lions Club president Fiona looks forward to busy year

Eamonn Wynne

Eamonn Wynne

The new president of Clonmel Lions Club is preparing to spearhead the club’s busy programme for the next year.

Fiona Rea has recently taken over at the helm from Marie Molloy and is very much looking forward to her term.

‘We Serve’ is the motto of Lions Club International which, with 45,000 clubs and 1.35 million members, makes it the world’s largest service club organisation.

The Clonmel club is actively involved in charitable projects in the community and the first of these to be undertaken on the new president’s watch is the annual trip to Fota Wildlife Park that’s organised for the visiting Chernobyl children on July 20th.

Several other fund raising projects are in the pipeline. These include a Blues Brothers music night that will be held around Halloween; a book sale; a two-day suicide awareness course/workshop, sponsored by Lions, that will be held in December; and the annual Christmas Food Appeal, which also enlists the help and support of local Transition Year students.

The club is hoping to run a children’s art competition in conjunction with the Food Appeal. The senior citizens tea party is another important event in the calendar, as are the Youth Award, which highlights the voluntary work of young people in the community and progresses to national and international stages; and the monthly visits to St. Anthony’s unit for the elderly.

The club has funded training courses for Cuan Saor Women’s Refuge and has supported many other organisations such as the Cancer CARE Centre and the Red Cross.

Fiona Rea is proud that the club has no administration costs and that every cent donated goes directly to the charities concerned. She and her fellow members are very grateful to all those who supported the recent Golf Classic.

Most of the club’s work is undertaken in the local community but, in common with other Lions branches, it reacts to emergency situations elsewhere, such as the earthquake in Haiti, when the local club raised €3,500 for the disaster appeal.

Fiona has been a Lions member for the best part of the last decade. One of the first major projects she was involved in was the Knocklofty Project, a residential project established on a farm at Knocklofty, outside the town, for those with special needs.

She’s looking forward to working in co-operation with all her fellow members for the next year and is delighted to have the support of secretary Paschal Mansfield and treasurer Mary Feeney. The club welcomes new members to help in its work.

Originally from Glasnevin in Dublin, Fiona has lived in Clonmel for the past 22 years, and job-shares at the local Bank of Ireland branch.

She’s married to PJ and the couple, who live in Grange, have three sons – Cormac, Aidan and Gavin.