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Many events on hold, but Wellesley Lions seek to remain active

Many of its usual activities were put on hold over the past year, but the Wellesley & District Lions Club has remained active, with current plans to refurbish a walking path. Club president Blair Cressman provided Wellesley councillors with an update Tuesday evening.

Thanks to COVID-19, 2020 was a tough year for groups such as the Lions, who depend on events held within the community to raise much needed funds for local organizations, he said. The Wellesley & District club – known for events such as the Tree of Lights campaign – was no different than other local groups, as they had to come up with inventive ways to keep annual events running, and fresh ideas to make up for those that were ultimately cancelled.

Last year, even with lockdowns or some other form of restrictions in place, the club still managed to run multiple events, including the Tree of Lights campaign and a Don Green Memorial Golf Tournament in lieu of the annual slo-pitch tournament.

“What had pandemic life looked like for us? Obviously, we had to put a pause on most of our regular events. We had to cancel the Don Green Memorial slo-pitch tournament last summer. We’ve moved to video call on monthly meetings. And when things started easing a little bit last summer we were able to pull together a September golf tournament, kind of – we called it the Don Green Memorial golf tournament to generate some funds for youth and recreation kind of under that same banner,” said Cressman.

For the remainder of the year, the club want to try to bring back the slo-pitch tournament later this year, or run the golf tournament instead if restrictions allow. They also want to reboot the online community auction held in the fall and try celebrating 10 years of the splash pad.

The topic of the presentation then shifted to plans for refurbishing a walking path, which Cressman says will lead from the south end of the village through the park to the accessible playground.

Plans are for the township to pave it in 2022, and the Lions would like to add lights, and potentially plant some new trees.

“And then, as well [we would add] lights on the path by the lower ball diamond. For those of you that regularly walk through Wellesley village and know the main artery that connects from the south end of Wellesley over across to the accessible playground in the pavilion. I’ve been talking with [recreation director] Danny [Roth] that it is in the budget for 2022 to repave that path where there’s a major chunk missing… I think if we were going to be involved in a project to put some lights along this path, we would probably want to be involved in maybe sourcing some new trees and rip these old gnarly trees out. We would be involved in whatever would make sense as far as maybe even putting some new shrubs on the other side where the other ones were ripped out whatever would look good.”

Roth says he will continue to be in contact with Cressman throughout the year as the repaving progresses to discuss how the club can help with the project.

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