Torquay Lions proud to bear the cost of national initiative

July 21, 2021 BY

Leading Senior Constable Shayne McTigue (left) and Sergeant Peter Christo accept teddy bears for children from Torquay Lions president Neil Roche.

THE Torquay Lions Club has presented a dozen furry friends to police at the town’s station in their latest contribution to Lions Operation Teddy Bear.

Police and other organisations use the bears to assist young children caught up in stressful situations.

Over the past 35 years, with the support of Lions clubs throughout Victoria, and now nationally, Lions Crimewatch has distributed more than 53,000 Lions Teddy Bears.

Torquay Lions President Neil Roche said his club’s recent donation of 12 bears was the latest in their long-running support of Lions Operation Teddy Bear.

“Bears are handed out to kids at motor vehicle accident sites, at courts, at house and bushfires, in domestic violence homes, hospitals, children’s cancer units and on myriad occasions where children might be distressed,” Mr Roache said.

“With Lions clubs ongoing support of Lions Operation Teddy Bear, jointly we continue to supply bears to Victoria Police, SES, CFA and others where children might become anxious and stressed.”

Distributing Teddy bears is just one way the Torquay Lions help support people in our local community.

“Our Lions provide teams to deliver meals distributed by Feed Me Surf Coast, a voluntary food and meals distributor based in Torquay,” Mr Roche said.

“The number of meals distributed each week has caused the Lions to call out for more volunteer drivers to help on Wednesdays when the most meals are delivered each week.”

He said the Lions delivered 30 crates – each containing one to five meals – when the club started helping Feed Me Surf Coast about 15 months ago.

“This week, we delivered 220 crates to various addresses where single people and families would not have had sufficient food items to prepare meals,” he said.

“And that’s not all we do. In the last financial year, despite COVID restrictions causing a great drop in funds raised from the community, we were able to help numerous people or organisations like Foundation 61, a rehabilitation centre which helps men rebuild their broken lives.

“Overall we managed to disburse almost $35,000 to worthy recipients in our region, nationwide or internationally to help with natural disasters.”