(Citation submitted by Gabriola Lions President Doug Cavill)
Lion Dixon Kenny, a member of the Lions Club on Gabriola Island, was presented with the Judge Brian Stevenson Fellowship award by District Governor Cec Specht on June 1, 2020.
Lion Dixon has been a member of the Gabriola Lions Club since November 2006 and has been a tireless supporter of the club working meticulously to achieve our Club’s goals.
For 10 years, Lion Dixon was the Chairman in charge of the Club’s annual “Concert-on-the-Green” event. The concert is attended by over 1,200 island residents of all ages and is the focal point for our Club’s annual fundraising activities. He personally researched and hired the entertainers for each event and then ensured his team of fellow Lions put in place the venue to accommodate the large number of concert goers. Through his skillful management of a team of club members, Lion Dixon realized annual revenues of up to $50,000 which allowed the Gabriola Lions Club to support our isolated island community and LCIF.
Lion Dixon was recently responsible for working with BC Parks and the BC Parks Foundation to repair and upgrade the access road into our island’s Drumbeg Provincial Park. The Gabriola Lions Club has, for several years, repaired the access road when the Park Service and their contractors did not have the budget to maintain it in a usable condition. Working with fellow Gabriolan Lion Bob Rooks, who had the necessary heavy equipment to carry out the work, Lion Dixon arranged for almost $50,000 worth of construction to be carried out at almost no cost to the Club. Our island residents greatly appreciated this initiative and the Gabriola Lions Club and LCIF received the credit and praise for the work that was completed.
An annual event on Gabriola Island is the battle to control and remove the invasive Scotch broom. For the past decade, Lion Dixon has been the coordinator between our club and another island volunteer organization, Gabriola Land and Trails Trust, to assist in this worthwhile environmental cause. He has successfully organized our Lions club to actively participate in cutting Scotch broom and collecting and transporting it to where it could be burned. Large areas of the island are now “broom free”.
Lion Dixon has been a Director of the Gabriola Lions Club for much of the past 14 years providing valuable insight and suggestions that have helped make the Gabriola Lions Club so successful. Lion Dixon is a worthy recipient of the Judge Brian Stevenson Fellowship.
(by Lion Jude Briscoe, 29 June 2020)
For most of a decade, the Gabriola Lions Club have hosted an annual Dog Walk to support the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. Every dollar donated from the Canadian-wide 300 held walks go directly to the raising and training of Guide Dogs to assist Canadians with medical or physical disability. The Guide Dogs are provided at no cost to the recipients giving Canadians a new leash on life. The variety of support Guide Dogs provided are many ranging from Hearing and Vision support, Autism assistance, Diabetic alert, Seizure response, Service support, and Traumatic Support. Each Dog Guide costs $25,000 to raise, train and place.
Gabriola’s Dog walk was initiated by Lion Linda Olson who championed the walk in our community for a few years before her health prevented it. Her legacy has been carried on by loyal Lion volunteers which included Joan Ensor, Miriam Cochrane, Jude Briscoe and Merrilee Wur. Each year, the number of participants from the community have increased. Lion members, families, friends, and furry friends enjoy the walk held at Twin Beaches, Gabriola Sands Provincial Park. Lion Mike Phillips with his Golden Retrievers, usually leads the willing furry friends and owners ending at play time at the beach.
Our Club has been fortunate to have one of our regular walkers, Larry Smith and his Lions Hearing Support Guide Dog, Vespa, share their wonderful partnership with the walkers. The donations from participants and our club happily support the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.
The walk for May 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19 but this did not stop walkers from participating and donating, virtually. Fund raising dollars along with a $1000 donation from the Gabriola Island Lions Foundation goes directly to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. One dog for each province and territory was realized by the huge, combined efforts of dog walks supported by the Lions across Canada. Amazingly wonderful news!
For more information please visit www.walkfordogguides.com and stay tuned for next year’s walk.