Many of Meaford’s service clubs are longstanding members of the Chamber of Commerce because, like them, the Chamber works hard to make Meaford a better place to live, work, and play. Unfortunately, along with everything else it has impacted, COVID-19 has forced service clubs to totally rethink how service clubs achieve their objectives and interact with the public.
The stock and trade social events and fundraisers like dances, sporting events, bingos, etc. have been left behind due to needs for social distancing for public health reasons.
As a member of the Meaford Kinsmen, I must confess that I really miss preparing for all of our annual events, starting in January with the Tim Cronin Memorial hockey tournament, followed by a Family Day sleigh ride in February then planning for the Duck Race in the spring and the Krank-Em Slo-Pitch ball tournament in July. If it’s August then it’s Kin Kamp time! Great memories for Kinsmen and the members of our community.
For now though, those seem like distant memories since COVID has placed its ‘no gatherings’ umbrella over our lives. Enter the new reality…
Service clubs still need to be doing things to support our community’s greatest needs but how could we do that when we can’t even meet for months at a time? Social media to the rescue; our club and I assume others, found Zoom on-line meetings so we could meet and plan future events.
In November we launched a Winter Escape Lottery and sold about 50% of the tickets on-line. The rest were sold during pop-up sales at local shops and through some of our sponsor businesses. All told, we managed to raise $4,000 that was split between the Meaford Hospital Fund and Safe n Sound Shelter.
Last winter Kinsmen also staged our first ever Santa Claus stationary parade. For those who didn’t manage to drop by, the Kinsmen staged floats in the upper parking lot of the arena and invited the public to drive by to get the flavour of past parades, and on the following day we held an on-line meeting with Santa for all the kids to get to speak with the jolly fellow.
Kinsmen just launched our Fun in the Sun Lottery and the proceeds of that will be going to benefit the Beaver Valley Outreach and a project at the new Meaford super-school. Tickets are available now through any Kinsman and again online.
We all look forward to returning to a closer proximity to ‘a normal way of life’, but until that time we will continue to strive to find new ways to enrich our community any way we can.
The service clubs of Meaford will continue to strive to do our best to make this community a better one to live in and you can be a part of that by volunteering with a project or committing to join a club and doing your part to grow this place we love to live in.
Submitted by Dan White, Meaford Chamber of Commerce