After more than three years in charge of the Lions Club of Orange Kevin Fahy has been replaced by Ron Parry as president.
I would like to grow our membership base.Ron Parry, new Lions Club of Orange president
Mr Parry took over the reins at the club’s changeover at Duntryleague on Saturday night.
He said one of his key objectives was to get more members in the club.
“I would like to grow our membership base,” he said.
“We are struggling to keep membership up and our members are getting older.”
He said people needed to realise service clubs played a vital role in the community.
“Governments can’t cover everything,” he said.
Mr Parry said there was a reluctance for people to perform community service without getting paid.
“They don’t realise the great benefit they [clubs] bring to the community, but there is also the fellowship and benefits to the individual.
“The community benefit is 30 per cent and the personal benefit is 70 per cent.
“The friends you make are for life.”
The changeover also saw changes at other levels with Mr Parry’s wife Barbara becoming the secretary of the club.
Retiring president Kevin Fahy said he had been in charge for three-and-a-half years.
Mr Fahy said the club had generated funds from a range of events but the biggest was running the annual Easter camel races at Towac Park racecourse.
“That has been our biggest fundraisers for the past two years,” he said.
“Last year we gave over $70,000 in total in donations.”
Mr Fahy said beneficiaries included Angel Flight, Lions Hearing Dogs, Lions Drug Awareness, Orange Healthy Lifestyle, the Orange Early Intervention program, a prostate machine for the Orange hospital and Tractor Trek.
“The bushfire appeal for Tathra, we donated $1000 for that,” he said.
“The St Vincent’s food van we gave $500 to and Seeing Eye Dogs Australia, we gave $500.”
Mr Fahy said the club had 32 members of which eight were female.
“In the last few years it has been fairly stable,” he said.
“It is hard to get new members.”
Mr Fahy said it was a trend that was affecting most service clubs and even organisations including scouts.
“It’s any number of things, when [people] are buying new houses, they don’t have the time,” he said.