LITTLE CURRENT—In an age where service clubs are having a hard time keeping and attracting new volunteers, the Little Current Lions Club seems to be bucking that trend thanks in large part to one family that believes strongly in the beliefs behind Lionism. The Orr/Draper family of Little Current boasts family members, representing four generations, in the same club.
One Lions Club objective stands out to members of the Orr/Draper family: to take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
Lion Lori Draper, the club’s secretary and 2017 winner of the club’s Lion of the Year award to boot, has been a Little Current Lion for the past six years. But this isn’t her first foray in Lionism: Lion Lori was a member of the former Sheguiandah Lions Club.
Lion Lori shared that during the Haweater Weekend event, before she and her husband Dave joined the club, the couple was watching the Sunday night fireworks downtown. “Dave said to me, ‘If I were a Lion, I would be so proud right now’,” she shared. “We got to talking after that and decided to join.”
It wasn’t a far stretch for the couple as they had already been volunteering with the Little Current Lions.
Daughter Beth joined the Lions Club one year after her parents and for Lion Beth, it was an easy transition as she had also been busy volunteering for the club when the busy mother of two could spare her time. Her tell-tale giggles are the backdrop to the Lions Club’s popular Catch the Ace Wednesday night draw viewed live on Facebook. Lion Beth is also a voracious seller of these tickets and boasts a few winners to her name.
Lion Mum or Lion Nana, as she’s known, Eunice Beaudin, was the next in line to join the club. Eunice is Lion Lori’s mother.
“I joined two years ago,” she said. “I was volunteering too with the club and thought ‘what the heck’.” She chuckled at her family’s way of doing things “backwards,” volunteering then joining. “We don’t do anything the right way,” she smiled.
Last month the Lions got their newest, and youngest member, fourth generation Lion Bryce Draper. The new high school graduate, at age 18, is a bit of an anomaly for service clubs these days because of his age, but he doesn’t mind.
“I’m kind of excited,” he said. Lion Bryce has joined with his friend and fellow teenager Brandon Boyle.
The family is quick to point out that Lion Bryce has also been volunteering with the club for many years, since he was 14-year-old with events like Winterfest and Haweater Weekend.
“I’m going into police foundations next year and I think this will be a good experience for me,” he added.
“You’re committed for life, kid,” Lion Nana joked with her great grandson.
Lion Bryce’s younger sister, Chloe, is already excited to join the Club too, but she’ll have to wait—she’s only eight-years-old. “She just loves it,” Chloe’s grandma said.
“It’s very rewarding to have my family involved,” Lion Lori shared. “I’m very proud of them.”
The family connections don’t just end here, however. Lion Lori’s brother Tim Moore and wife Lisa are also devoted Lions. You can catch them at the ball field much of Haweater Weekend, serving cold drinks and barbecuing burgers and sausages. Lion Beth’s sister Cheryl and her partner Russ are also members, as is their daughter Sabrina. You’ll find them at the Hawfest and can thank this branch of the family for the Paw Patrol float that will be the Lions’ entry in the annual parade. (Lion Russ and Cheryl’s Winterfest pancake breakfasts are the stuff of legend too.)
The Lions are entering their 80th year as a club this fall and there’s a connection there too. Lion Eunice’s uncle Alvin Orr was a charter member of the club.
The four generations all encourage the community to get involved and consider joining the club that does so much good work in their community.