Build a Brighter Future
Here at Verona Lions, we are committed to a single goal; we want to make the world a better place starting with our own community.
In 1949, the Kingston Lions Club asked a group of Verona men to form a Lions Club. “I didn’t have a clue what we were getting into,” said charter member Ben Lappen. “It seemed like a good cause, though.”
The club’s first big project was to team up with the Women’s Institute to buy the Verona School House for $1000.00. It served as a meeting hall for many community organizations, including the Lions Club, until the new Lions Hall was built in 1969. The new hall was the pride of the club. Local trades and craftsmen volunteered their labour for every special detail, but the joy lasted only a few short days. Fire destroyed the original building before it was ever used, and the building we use today was built on the ashes of that first hall. In the mid ‘50’s, the club created the “swimming hole” on Rock Lake and maintained it for over 30 years. In the ‘60’s the club bought the ball park and in 1965 installed its lights and bleachers. In 1974 the club bought eight acres of land on Verona Sand Road and created the Verona Lions Mini Park., which was upgraded and renovated in 2003-4 with the help of local parents and a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Over the years the club has: donated $30,000 toward the North Frontenac Arena; teamed with Sharbot Lake Lions to buy the arena’s Zamboni; bought the Portland Township Emergency Vehicle; and donated tens of thousands of dollars to local individuals and groups in need.
Since 1951 the club’s major fundraiser had been the Lions Jamboree, unfortunately due to uncontrolable circumstances, 2017 became the last year for this event. The Lions continue fundraising efforts with the Annual Garlic Festival, ATV Poker run, the May long weekend Road Toll and the rental of the hall facilities.
At the Charter Banquet in 1949, Verona Lions first President, Lorne Genge said, “I hope it will be said some day that Verona is a better place to live, work and play because of its Lions Club.” Over 60 years later we can proudly say that Lorne’s hope has been fulfilled, and we add our own hope that it will continue for many years to come.