THE AIRDRIE 1ST CLUB?
Formerly: AIRDRIE LIONESS CLUB
How We Help
We provide a number of services and support in Airdrie. Quite often you will see our red vested Club members helping out at the Blood Donor Clinics or acting as an Ambassador for Airdrie at various city wide sporting events. Your children or grand-children just might be having fun while on playground equipment donated by us while you are watching them from a donated bench.
In addition to supporting various groups in Airdrie some of the programs we have include the Blankets 4 Kids.
By far our largest event is our annual Christmas Hamper Program. It is interesting to note that this program is run completely by volunteers.
Why We Changed Our Name
In April 2018, the Lions Club International Board of Directors chose to encourage all current Lioness Clubs to join the Lions family. The Airdrie Lioness Club chose not to join the international group and to remain a club that served only Airdrie.
Therefore we were required to give up
the Lioness name and have chosen our new identity - Airdrie 1st Club.
Our Mission is to provide service to our community and its citizens. All year long members of the Airdrie 1st Club work hard to operate or to contribute to worthwhile community programs. We have been doing so since 1977.
Who We Help
Airdrie Boys and Girls Club
Airdrie COP Society
Airdrie Festival of Performing ARTS
Airdrie Food Bank
Airdrie Meals on Wheels
Airdrie Public Library
Airdrie Victims Assistance Society
Community Groups and Schools
City Social Services Programs
Supplies for Success
Thumbs up Foundation
Airdrie Rotary Club Music Program
Bethany Care Centre
Iron Horse Park
Other Humanitarian Services
The Airdrie Lioness Club celebrated its 40th Anniversary in September 2017! Four decades of giving back to our great community of Airdrie.
The Lioness Club, which began in September 1977, is currently 34 members strong. The late Dolly Dunne initiated the founding club, along with ladies like Pat Delair, who felt that a ladies club could accomplish great things. Dolly and Pat, along with 29 other ladies started volunteering countless hours and found ways to help make Airdrie, which had just attained town status in 1974 with a population of 1442, a better place for all to live. Dianne Durda, a past president of the organization believes, “It can grow. It’s pretty unique.” Women coming together to improve and care for their community in whatever way we can.
One of the original fundraising efforts, dating back to the Club’s first years, is the annual pie sale. Pat Delair and Joyce Lewis, two of the club’s original members, remember spending many hours in their own kitchens baking all flavours of pies, (especially Saskatoon, which was in high demand) to sell at the annual trade show at the Plainsman Arena. Today, that tradition still continues. Some of the logistics have changed, we use a commercial kitchen now but it has turned into a wonderful team-building event with an assembly line style of baking happening. Generally, more than 225 pies are baked over a two day period and are sold at the Home and Lifestyle Show every April.
Since it’s inception, the Lioness Club has helped numerous organizations in Airdrie through its fundraising efforts. The Club’s commitment to community is year round, encompassing every dynamic – children, teen’s and seniors and those who may be struggling. One just has to visit Genesis Place to see that the Lioness Club is a sponsor of one of the pools, or visit to Iron Horse Park birthday room which we were happy to contribute to. While visiting seniors at Bethany Care Centre, you could sit by a warm fireplace in the entryway (the gas insert was provided by the Airdrie Lioness). Do you have youngsters who visit the Airdrie Public Library? The Lioness supplied the funds to purchase two Early Literacy Stations as well as contributing funds so that teens could have “A Den”, a place to congregate, share stories and access computers within the library. In addition, the Lioness have contributed to school libraries, playgrounds and benches, The Boys and Girls Club, Supplies for Success, Community Links Emergency Fund, Backpack supplies for our homeless. The Airdrie Food Bank has been a recipient of funds through the Lioness, supporting the Milk Program, Snack Attack and Breakfast Program. The Club also provided funds for the Food Bank to purchase new freezers/coolers for their new facility to keep fresh produce and meats.
Inside of the Airdrie Food Bank, the Lioness have expanded our program to include a “Caring Closet”, a place where struggling parents can select a new birthday gift for their child at no cost. In September of 2008, under the presidency and initiative of Dianne Durda, the Airdrie Lioness Hamper Foundation was formed as a non-profit charitable organization. This would help in garnering funds for the Christmas Hamper Program as well as enabling us to issue charitable donation receipts.
With Airdrie becoming a fast growing city of 34,000 plus, the annual Christmas Program increased exponentially. The initial hamper program was managed on recipe cards, while our last program consisted of many spreadsheets and served as many people as was the population of Airdrie in 1977. We made 372 families and 1160 people have a happier, meaningful Christmas through our program and through the support we receive from our community. Each year the Lioness Club must search out a facility in which to operate this program. In recent years, this took up approximately 6000 – 8000 square feet of space. This past year, the Club was extremely fortunate to have space donated by the City of Airdrie.
The Lioness Club continues to evolve and expand their programs. 2014 saw the inception of the Blankets 4 Kids Program, where members share their time and talents and create small blankets for those who need them. In past years, blankets have been donated to the NICU and PICU units of the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the Brenda Stafford House, The Children’s Cottage as well as Bethany Care Society. Whether escaping family violence, a house fire or other tragedy, we want to reach out in some small way, our “warm hug”. In 2015, we also created the Helping Hands Hamper Program, to help any family in need throughout the year, whether it be through some kind of loss or financial struggle.
From 1977 – 2021, the Airdrie Lioness Club has endeavored to fill needs within Airdrie to the best of their ability. The Club has continued to grow and be a very vibrant and vital part of this community. Would you like to be part of such a strong, dynamic forward thinking organization? The Lioness welcomes new members at all times. New members keep the Club moving forward – providing new purposes and ideas. We have a space for you, no matter the amount of time you can give. The Club currently meets at Genesis Place in the Echo Room at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Check out our Facebook page for updates or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact via telephone at 403-660-1569. We look forward to meeting you!