| Jun 26, 2008

Feature Article - June 26, 2008

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Feature Article - June 26, 2008 Verona Lions celebrate new hall renovationBy Julie Druker

Wayne Conway unveils the "Trillium Grant" plaque to Nina Jenkins of the Ontario Trillium Foundation

On Friday night about 100 people gathered for a banquet in the newly renovated hall of the Verona Lions Club to celebrate the completion of the renovation project. The Verona Lions wanted to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the many community volunteers and the local contractors who helped this project come to fruition.

The $150,000 renovation project received a $75,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which was used to: update the old electrical heating system to high-efficiency propane; install a brand new cooling system; combine two kitchens into one that meets all fire and safety codes and includes a fire suppression system; and install industrial propane ranges with a new dishwasher.

The grant was received in July of 2007. The work could not start until December, however, since the hall remained quite busy up until that time. The renovation took three months to complete

Nina Jenkins, a representative from the Trillium Foundation who volunteers with the grant review team for Quinte, Kingston and the Rideau regions of Ontario, was present for the unveiling of the plaque recognizing the Trillium grant. She was “pleased to see how happy everyone is with what they have accomplished and to see the whole thing come together.”

The OTF had no trouble realizing how the renovation would improve the hall, making it more “rentable” and better equipped to provide the wealth of services it currently provides to the community. The hall is the only venue in the Verona area available for large, catered community events. It will be better equipped to hold elections, public meetings, blood donor clinics, training programs, weddings, art shows, auctions and dances.

The Verona Lions, who have been serving the community for 60 years, held the banquet to also thank those community volunteers who are so important in making these kind of projects happen. Lions member Inie Platenius, said, “We can’t do everything ourselves internally so we have a group of between 70 and 75 volunteers from the community that help us out. This dinner is our way of saying thanks to them.” None of the money used for the banquet comes from community donations. Rather the Lions raise it internally throughout the year at their meetings with 50/50 draws and fun auction activities.

While the crowd mingled, the evening began with a slide show demonstrating the progress of the renovation from start to finish. After that Kim Perry of Local Family Farms in Verona catered a fabulous dinner that consisted solely of home-grown meat and vegetables and home-baked pies for dessert.

Lions member Wayne Conway presented awards to community volunteers whose building skills were heavily relied upon to complete the work involved in the renovation. At the end of the night Wayne himself was presented with the “Lion of the Year” Award by club members for his outstanding work and dedication to the club and the project..

It was definitely a night to celebrate. The hall looks and feels great. It is money well spent on a project that will continue to serve the community in so many different, positive ways for more many years to come.

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