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Wanstead and Woodford Lions club returning to fundraising after six year hiatus
Buy this photo » Jeet Shagal with some of his pictures of past Lions Club events
A charitable club which raised thousands of pounds for good causes is back in business after a hiatus of six years.
The Lions club of Wanstead and Woodford was founded in 1978 and once boasted dozens of members, but its numbers dwindled to just eight by 2007.
Part of a worldwide network with members in more than 200 countries, Lions clubs raise cash for community projects on a local and global scale.
Former president of the Wanstead and Woodford branch Jeet Sahgal, 77, said: “In 2003 our charter president, Nindi Sharma, died.
“He had set the club up in 1978 and was very much a driving force for what we did.
“We used to have regular functions and do all sorts of work in the community.
“There were charity fashion shows and dinners and we organised several boat trips on the Thames for terminally ill children.
“A core of around eight of us carried on meeting, but things like the lottery hit us quite hard.
“Perhaps, being quite elderly, we didn’t quite have the persistence to keep pressing people to help out.”
However, Mr Shagal, who lives in Hermon Hill, South Woodford, says the club have recently recruited several younger members.
And, with their help, the Lions are relaunching their fundraising activities with a lavish charity dinner and dance for 300 people at the Grange Hotel near Tower Bridge on April 20.
Most of the money raised from the evening will go towards helping to save the sight of visually impaired people in India.
Mr Sahgal said: “The difference the money will make is incredible. It will give sightless people the chance to see and enjoy a quality of life which would otherwise be denied them.
“I am really looking forward to the dinner. I have many happy memories of our fundraisers in the past.
“We have been quiet for too long and I hope this function will mark the moment we Lions rediscover our roar.”
To find out more about the Wanstead and Woodford Lions club email firstname.lastname@example.org
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