VITTORIA LIONESS CLUB
Lioness logo

In 1979, a group of Vittoria Lions' wives decided to form a social club to help the Lions with some of their functions and also for an evening of entertainment. Sandy Moore organized the meetings and sent out invitations to all the members' wives. They were called the Vittoria Lady Lions.

Twenty-six ladies paid $2.20 each for their first year's dues. Founding members in attendance were: President Sandy Moore, 1st Vice-president Kay Hayford, 2nd Vice-president Pauline Cole, Secretary Ann Voegtle, Treasurer Joan Robinson, Faye Jarvis, Linda Antonissen, Mary Lou Ferris, Eleanor Cole, Nancy Burcsik, Leona Oakes, Rose Ludwig, Sharon Cooper, Nelly Bauer, Diana Duncan, Shirley Cole, Helena Roberts, Myrtle Smith, Violet Moore, Sharon MacAinsh, Verna Boughner, Ginger Stanley, Jackie Morris, Laura Snow, Helen Stanley and Mary Beth Antonissen.

One of the club's first major projects was to purchase 100 place settings of dishes for the Lions Hall kitchen and to sew curtains for the club-room and main banquet hall. They raised money by having a Wine and Cheese Party, selling tickets on a money tree and helping the Lions with their local bingos. One night's profit was $8.69 - coffee and donuts sold for 10¢ apiece. Other endeavours were selling tickets on vouchers and their famous "Pay-What-You-Pull" tickets.

Dinner meetings were held the second Wednesday of every month. Local women's groups and clubs catered to the ladies, and after 23 years some of the same groups are catering to them still.

In 1974 the name of the Lady Lions changed to "Vittoria Lionettes". The club continued to sponsor dances, cater to groups and sell tickets. The money they raised continued to support the Lions Community Centre through a donation towards the purchase of paneling for the banquet hall. They also supported local ball clubs and local charitable groups.

In 1976 the club considered joining Lions International, but after much discussion and for various reasons, they voted to stay a working "social" club.

In October of 1978 the club voted again and this time, the members were in favour of joining Lions International. This meant their name would be changed again, this time to "Vittoria Lioness".

Their charter night was May 8th, 1979 with membership consisting of 28 Ladies. In belonging to Lions International they were involved in aiding many worldwide causes like Leader Dogs, the C.A.R.E. Program, Home for the Deaf, LCIF and Drug Awareness.

The club undertook a major project as a fundraiser - a fashion show to help a local boy who was paralyzed. They sponsored Blood Donor Clinics, assembled and distributed Christmas baskets, made donations to groups such as Scouting, the Heart and Stroke Fund, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Fresh Air Fund, the March of Dimes, the United Way and many other worthwhile projects. They have also had many adopted friends over the years.

The club accepted financial responsibility for placing a range hood in the kitchen of the Lions Community building and also for the purchase of new cupboards for the kitchen. It was another club effort in 1981 to publish a Lioness Cookbook that is still in circulation in the community today.

Other community projects were the Christmas Bazaar, the renting and leasing of baby restraint seats, as well as keeping up with yearly donations to families in need and to Lions International projects. For several years, the Lioness Club has been co-sponsoring (with the Vittoria Lions Club) the annual Hallowe'en Party for local children as well as the preparation and delivery of Christmas packages for needy families,

One of the Lioness Club's biggest donations was to the Vittoria & District Community Centre to help with its total reconstruction. A sizable donation towards Jaws of Life was appreciated by the community, the Vittoria Firefighters and the Township of Delhi. They were also involved with fundraising for Camp Trillium near Waterford at Rainbow Lake, and in 1999 they were partners in the restoration of the Vittoria Town Hall.

Their biggest fundraisers now are working with the Vittoria Lions Club in the operating of bingos 16 to 18 times a year.