Berwick and District club elects first female ‘King Lion’

Kirk Starratt
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The Berwick and District club has a new King – or make that a new Queen – Lion.

Del Thibodeau-Filippone has been elected the first female King Lion in the history of the Berwick and District Lions Club. She was voted in at the club’s general meeting on May 22 and will be officially installed on June 19.

Thibodeau-Filippone said there are a few women involved in the club now. One of her goals is to get more women taking an active role, adding that she believes there are many women who would love it if they gave it a try.

“I was blown away when I found out how much they do in the community,” Thibodeau-Filippone said.

She said she is honoured that the membership has elected her president. Originally from New Brunswick, Thibodeau-Filippone has lived in Berwick for 25 years and has always loved small towns.

“Everyone in town is there to help when someone is in need,” she said. “I love how the community comes together.”

 

A family affair

Being involved in the Berwick and District Lions Club has truly become a family affair, with three generations involved. Her father-in-law, Anthony, has been a member of the Berwick club for 27 years.

It was only this past September when Thibodeau-Filippone started working with the Lions. She was inducted as a member in October, along with her son, Chris. Her husband, Michael, has now joined, too.

“I’ve been a busy bee,” Thibodeau-Filippone said. “I jumped in with both feet and I’ve been very active since then.”

 

History of volunteerism

She has enjoyed volunteering since she was young and is impressed with how the Berwick and District Lions work as a unit to help the community. Thibodeau-Filippone, who has also been a Lionette in the past, said she hears “nothing but the best when it comes to the Lions.”

She said she loves that all the money raised through Lions events goes back into the community, supporting a wide range of good causes, including the food bank. The Lions donated $25,000 to the first phase of the Kings Mutual Century Centre and hope to be able to make the same sort of financial contribution to the second phase of development, she added.

They also want to utilize the Wilson Family Community Centre at the Apple Dome, which the Lions operate, as much as they can for different events and “make it a very active club.”

Thibodeau-Filippone, who is also head of the Berwick Lions float committee, said this is the first time in years they’ll have a float in the Apple Blossom Festival Grand Street Parade.

Looking ahead to the holiday season, they plan to work in conjunction with the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre to host “12 Days of Lights” at the Kings Mutual Century Centre. This will be a large light display with a Christmas theme.

Organizations: Berwick and District Lions Club, Kings Mutual Century Centre, Wilson Family Community Centre Apple Dome Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre

Geographic location: New Brunswick

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