Local service clubs plan drive-thru barbecue, eyeglasses collection drive
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Lions Club and The Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout are preparing for a drive-thru barbecue event, along with an eyeglasses collection drive on July 3, to support an eye care project in Arequipa, Peru.
“In terms of the eyeglasses drive, we have a collection box at Fresh Market Foods. And on July 3, we are going to be doing a drive-thru barbecue at the Travel Information Centre, with the Rotary,” said Chris Larsh, the President of the Sioux Lookout Lions Club. “It gives us an opportunity to partner with the Rotary on the kind of activity that as Lions, we would do anyway, with eyeglasses collection and helping out people in developing countries, people in need,” he added.
Larsh said that the Lions Club would be collecting eyeglasses between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with plans to serve the drive-thru lunch bags between 11 a.m., until around 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. He added that the lunch bag menus would consist of hamburgers, hotdogs, and chips, among others.
Since the onset of the pandemic, several Lions Club operations have been affected, including their annual Canada Day celebration. “Just because of COVID, last year we did not run an event at all. In past years we’ve done the full day family picnic, carnival games, barbecue, carnival type foods like cotton candy, popcorn, slushies, that kind of stuff. And then at dusk, the firemen light off the fireworks for us, and then the revenue generated through the Canada Day activities helps to offset the cost of fireworks.
“But because we don’t have a place where we could gather, the only place in town we can light off that number of fireworks would be to be shooting them from the hill, over the lake, by the town beach, which makes a perfect venue because it gives us a lot of gathering space for people, and it gives us a safe place to fire them into the lake. But, obviously the town beach isn’t available, restrictions on gathering sizes due to COVID, it was just impossible. For two years in a row, we have not been able to run our regular events,” said Larsh.
This event was initially planned to be conducted as a celebration for Canada Day on July 1. However, it was later moved to July 3 in recognition of some Indigenous communities stating they would not be celebrating Canada Day this year, instead treating the day as a day of mourning following the discovery of 215 children’s remains on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Larsh said, “We, as a club, decided to do this out of respect for the recognition of July 1 from the Indigenous peoples as their day of mourning, for the discovery of the numerous residential school children that have been found in unmarked graves over the past years, and recently in Kamloops the 215 kids.” He added, “So, we did not want to disrespect the day of mourning by holding an event that wasn’t a Canada Day event anyway. So, we moved it to the third.”
Larsh said that they have received their food services permit, and are awaiting further permit details to come up with meal prices. He added that details regarding food prices or any potential change to event timings would be posted on the Sioux Lookout Lions Club’s Facebook page.
“Come on out, bring your eyeglasses and have some barbecue and enjoy the day,” Larsh concluded.