Knowle and Dorridge Lions Club held its annual presentation evening.

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Past President Bob Thurtle with charity fundraisers and their cheques: Julie Swiffen, Solihull Bereavement Counselling Service, Ryan Jackson, Lily Mae Foundation, Joanna Oldfield, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, Donna Stokes, British Heart Foundation, Bob Thurtle, President 2015/16

Knowle and Dorridge Lions Club celebrated their 40th successful year in September when the club held its annual presentation evening at the Greswolde Hotel in Knowle.

Welcoming over 60 guests and sponsors Past President Lion Bob Thurtle announced that the club had again raised over £66,000 for charity over the past 12 months, primarily through it’s Knowle Fun Run (£35,000), Lions Festive Walk (£9,000) and Heart of England Bike Ride (£20,000).  He thanked all the sponsors saying, ‘It’s great for our club of 25 volunteer Lions to celebrate such success again, but without the help from companies like yourselves our events would never realise so much for charity.’ He also emphasised how his Club needed new members if it is going to sustain this tremendous fundraising and community support in the years ahead.

After illustrating some of the projects the club has embraced for eye health, supporting the elderly and youth travel bursaries. Bob then introduced Emma Brown, who gave an excellent presentation for her medical elective.

Organiser of last July’s record-breaking Heart of England Bike Ride, Lion Paul Wheatley, presented British Heart Foundation fundraising manager Donna Stokes with a cheque for £16,000 for their share of the £20,000 raised at event. Donna said how grateful the BHF are to Knowle and Dorridge Lions for all the hard work they put in organising the event, and is looking forward to next July’s Ride from Packwood NT House.’

New Community Service Chairman Lion Chris Kiddle-Morris explained that the Club retain 30% of raised funds to be spent on locally determined causes. During the year his committee had spent over £20,000, including the annual successful coach trip, where last year 3 coachloads of elderly residents had travelled to Bath, a tea party for 140 older residents and the youth travel bursary. The many local and some not so local organisations who had been supported were briefly described. A full list of organisations supported this year and how to nominate a local cause can be found at www.knowleanddorridgelions.com/charities

After a break Bob presented a cheque for £2,000 to the Hub@Henley to support the elderly in their area and a certificate of appreciation to Terry Delaney for mashalling the Knowle Fun Run every year for 23 years.

Bob then presented cheques totalling £28929 to the 3 nominated charities for the clubs 40th year: Solihull Bereavement Counselling Service, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and Lily Mae Foundation, who in turn thanked the Lions for their tremendous achievements and the sponsors for their support.

Current year’s President Lion Richard Buckley then introduced the charities the Lions are nominating as beneficiaries the forthcoming Lions Festive Walk on Tuesday 27 December and Knowle Fun Run on Sunday 21 May 2017 – Prostate Cancer UK, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice & Motor Neurone Disease Association who told everyone about why the monies to be raised will make such a difference to their charities.

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