Banque Alimentaires 2013 – 2014

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For more than 25 years, LC Poissy Doyen has supported the national Banque Alimentaire initiative. According to the Fédération Française des Banques Alimentaires, 2,600,000 people living in France depend on food aid distributed throughout the year by the principal charitable associations.

The major annual food collection initiative occurs over the last weekend of November each year. Many Lions clubs in France contribute their time and organization to help collect essential non-perishable foodstuffs.

Under the leadership of LC Poissy Doyen, LCYH provides helping hands alongside two other Poissy-based LCs and LC Maule. The project takes place over a 48 hour period – a Friday and Saturday – at Carrefour Chambourcy and Casino Poissy. The Lions helpers, arriving at 8am Friday to set up the stands, the posters, the collection bags and chariots and the foodstuff guides for the shoppers. Dozens of cardboard boxes are assembled and numbered for the different types of food collected – biscuits, chocolates, cereals, baby food, jam, soups, tin vegetable, pasta, rice, flour, sugar…. all non-perishable items that can be stored for later distribution.

Boys in blue 29 november 2013

The generosity of the shopping public is both impressive and touching. As the shoppers make their regular shop, they add items from the BA guide and hand them over to the Lions volunteers after the checkout – who then sort them and pack them in the numbered cardboard boxes.

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During 28-29 November 2014, a total of 83 Lions members participated in 4-hour shifts over the two day event.

Approximately 650 cardboard boxes were filled this year, representing around 13,000 kgs of non-perishable food stuffs collected. The two day event, is a most moving and rewarding experience. The people who you might think have the least to give can surprise you with their generosity. Some people fill their bags, others provide 3 or 4 items only but every bit helps. One elderly couple approached us just after the checkout but their donation bags were not readily visible. When questioned, they said “no no, you don’t understand, the entire trolley is for the BA collection”

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We realise at LCYH that we don’t only have to be the creators of projects to be useful to the local community and to deserving charities. We are equally happy to contribute in collaboration with other Lions clubs, supporting their projects. What matters is that “we serve” and that together we can make a difference in ways that could not be achieved working alone.

Plouf2013

Our patron club, Brussels Heraldic, had held a successful Swimathon, “Splash”, for 30-years and thus it was logical that, having visited their event in March’13, just after our Charter, we, LCYH, should launch our own ‘version française’, “Plouf”; but when and where?

We had left it late but thought that the public holiday on 11/11/13 might fit many people’s agenda. Despite canvassing most of the swimming pools in urban Yvelines, the small but friendly pool of Le Pecq was the only candidate that offered us its facility free-of-charge. It then only remained to nominate a charity in Yvelines that was relevant to Youth and a connection to our host Commune.

As time was not on our side, it seemed rational to look at orphanages with a special regard to La Maison de l’Enfance des Yvelines in Le Pecq. The need to explain the concept to a new audience of potential teams that would raise funds through sponsorship was a challenge, as was our ability to explain that we planned to take underprivileged children to the circus and the theatre over the Christmas period. Further, the recruitment of teams was delayed by the summer holidays and suddenly we were already in September with only 2-months to run. But the spirit of the Club did not weaken and together with the truly helpful staff of the Municipality, on Armistice Day, 17-teams had a lot of fun and generated 4,000€ that helped to make the Festive Season a little more exciting for over 100 orphans in Yvelines.

 

LCYH – Charter Ceremony 24 February 2013

Once the formation of a new Lions Club has been achieved, tradition dictates that the Charter of the new club shall be presented at a special ceremony, usually on the occasion of a gala dinner. LCYH, being unusual, decided a Sunday luncheon would be more appropriate . We did however think that the location should, perhaps for the first and last time, be prestigious. And here one of our sponsor clubs, LC Versailles Trianon (LCVT), came into its own.

Within LCVT, itself chartered in 1980, there reside members of the Légion d’honneur who were able to make introductions to the Château du Val in the forest of St Germain-en-Laye. This XVII-century hunting lodge was built for Louise XIV and is currently owned and operated by the Légion as a hotel and retirement home. However, it still retains it palatial reception areas, salons and dining rooms and for LCYH, was just the perfect fit.

We entertained some 100 paying guests at an event that brought together Lions from our other sponsor club, Brussels Heraldic (LCBH), past and present, of which the founding president of LCYH is a founder member, along with Belgian Lion dignitaries and members of our new District, Ile de France Ouest.

There was good food, excellent wine and humorous speeches after which the District Governor, Bertrand Lissarrague, who was instrumental in agreeing that an English-speaking club should be created and be the first of its kind in France, presented the Charter to the President. This was followed by the presentation of pins and certificates to the new Lions. LCBH presented the Club banner and LCVT the Club bell and gavel. The presentation of the ‘Little Lion’ to the TailTwister was completely eclipsed by the arrival of a fully animated and costumed Chinese lion, on which the French and Belgian Governors each painted an eye that represented the true birth of the Club. At the close of the day, as the new Members signed their Charter, all clubs present exchanged fanions with LCYH as they wandered down the corridors of a hunting lodge created for the Sun King and pondered on the future of a new-style Anglophone Lions club born therein.