Early 2019 a social media call was sent out. “Expressions of interest for a new Lions Club for people in the Autism Community”. Then on a warm March evening at Mulgrave country club, slightly more than twenty people from different backgrounds and organisations came together. Many Lions Clubs representatives too, at that time all too unfamiliar to remember. But this was not the beginning, far from it.
Some seemed sceptical because in the autism community many people are already stretched with various commitments and obligations. However, there were a few constant attendees that could see the potential. In May, Box Hill Lions decided to become a supporting club and then we gained our first members. Past Council Chair Lion Lou Onley OAM, made the decision to create the executive committee. By the end of that night we were a branch club with an executive committee, 11 members and no club name. In June we decided on our club name “Melbourne Autism Lions Club” or what we commonly refer to as “MALC”. With our newly formed club we really were excited but also really wondering what to do. What will our purpose be? Who will we help? How do we make this work?
July was our first official meeting as “Melbourne Autism Lions Club Branch”. With Guiding Lion PDG Pat Mills and we were proudly supported by Box Hill Lions who attended our meetings regularly. We held a raffle and raised about $60 for the night, with some nice prizes and our dreaded booby prize - a can of tomato soup. From that month on we were off! Project and ideas started pouring in and we got involved in BBQ’s with Box Hill Lions.
Raffles were held each month and the booby prize became a can of spam that was sometimes slightly dented too. There was also the Tony Abbott prize, a mystery prize which could contain an awesome prize or a booby prize. Before we knew it we hit 20 members and it was time to Charter and go it alone. But we knew that even though we had become an independent club, we will always have a special connection to our supporting club Box Hill Lions. Melbourne Autism Lions Club quietly chartered on 14th Oct 2019. The work had just begun.
Our members meetings are- fun and we welcome you to join. Want to be part of the action? Contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
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