US$100,000 grant for medical centre
The Langton Lions and the Delhi Community Medical Centre are celebrating a US$100,000 grant for medical equipment from Lions International of Chicago, Illinois. In front, from left, are Dennis Craddock of Jarvis, the local representative of the Lions Club International Foundation, Lions District Governor Jim Lomas of Port Dover, Langton Lions President Ron Evans and Dale Corner, chair of the medical centre board of director. Standing behind Craddock is Rick Travale while standing behind Corner is Joe Adam. Both are members of the Delhi medical centre fundraising committee. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER
The Langton Lions are celebrating one of the most successful fundraising initiatives the service club has ever undertaken.
Since 2015, the Langton Lions have rallied support from Lions chapters in this part of Ontario for the Delhi Community Medical Centre.
The medical centre has evolved into a regional health facility. Along the way, it has a made a significant dent in the doctor shortage that has been a chronic problem in Norfolk County for over 20 years.
Lions clubs in the local area have been frequent, generous donors to the medical centre. In November, the Langton chapter was informed that Lions International of Chicago, Illinois, had agreed to provide a matching grant to the medical centre in the amount of US$100,000 (CDN$125,000).
Langton Lion Frank DeDobbelaer, a past district governor of the Lions Club, undertook the local fundraising campaign with Dr. Colin Barnes of Delhi. They explained to 16 local Lions chapters why it was a good idea to support the Delhi facility.
“We went to all the clubs,” DeDobbelaer said. “Each club made a donation according to what they could afford – anywhere from $500 to $15,000.”
Meanwhile, DeDobbelaer had been trying to figure out how to tap into Lions International’s matching grant program for worthy causes.
Several of DeDobbelaer’s applications for the Delhi medical centre were rejected before he figured out that the program was for medical equipment that was as-yet unpurchased.
These rejections actually worked in his favour. Immediately before DeDobbelaer’s latest application, Lions International bumped up its maximum matching grant limit to US$100,000 from US$75,000. The Delhi Community Medical Centre is the first Lions International project funded at the new, higher level.
“So far we’ve ordered $50,000 worth of desks and chairs,” says Dale Corner, chair of the Delhi Community Medical Centre’s board of directors.
“They will be arriving in the next few weeks. There is also medical equipment. It doesn’t take long to add up to $250,000. We were very excited and grateful for all the work the Lions did on our behalf. It’s a wonderful donation.”
Securing the grant was truly a team effort. DeDobbelaer thanked Linda Vanlondersele, past executive director of the medical centre, and current executive director Bobby Jo Smith for the help they provided along the way.
Also coming in for kudos was Dennis Craddock of Jarvis, the local representative of the Lions Club International Foundation. Craddock hand-delivered the successful application to Chicago on behalf of the Langton Lions.