Mount Forest Lions Club seeks council support for potential improvement projects

KENILWORTH – The Mount Forest Lions Club is eyeing potential improvement projects around the community.

Past club president George Laurencic pitched several early-stage ideas for council to ponder on Aug. 14:

  • upgrade to 55-inch TV screens in the main hall, and the lower leisure room, of the sportsplex to better accommodate presentations and bingo nights;
  • plant four, 20-foot trees in Moody Park and replace two dead trees next to the MacDonald Schwindt splash pad;
  • installation of a display case in the main foyer of the sportsplex to showcase Lions Club contributions to the community;
  • new picnic tables at the Murphy Park pavilion and a fresh coat of paint (the club may also want to rebrand the pavilion the “Mount Forest Lions Pavilion”); and
  • install new equipment at the Merv Weber Playground in Hutchison Park.

Council was asked for its support, both financially and morally, for the projects, which have yet to be approved by Lions’ members.

Speaking by phone, Laurencic explained the list consists of projects he began working on during his term as club president.

George Laurencic

He wanted council to begin thinking now about ways the township might contribute to the projects, specifically painting the pavilion roof and removing the dead trees.

But the club also wants the township to chip in with cost-sharing on some of the work.

Laurencic suggested a $30,000 estimate, but said not to put much stock in his guess.

Replacement of 20-year-old playground equipment at Hutchison Park could easily cost hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.

Laurencic said there’s no intent to get everything done at once; projects and financial contributions from the club would be spaced out, potentially over several years.

The club made regular contributions, amounting to $100,000, to the Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation in support the hospital’s redevelopment project over several years from 2017 to 2020.

Once the Lions resume post-summer meetings, the projects will be considered for approval. If approved, the club would later approach council with a finer-tuned proposal.

Each year, between $75,000 and $100,000 is raised from the community and for the community.

Fundraisers such as bingo nights and “road tolls” bring in cash that’s reinvested into local organizations and groups, as well as individual causes.