Lions Clubs working together to help farmers

JOINT EFFORT: Dawn Johanson (Mary Valley Lions), Craiglea Stud joint owner Marilyn Johnston, horse trainer Krystle Johnston, Joan Albrecht (Gympie South Lions) and Elizabeth Shields (Gympie Lions) are determined to help struggling farmers out west.PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED
JOINT EFFORT: Dawn Johanson (Mary Valley Lions), Craiglea Stud joint owner Marilyn Johnston, horse trainer Krystle Johnston, Joan Albrecht (Gympie South Lions) and Elizabeth Shields (Gympie Lions) are determined to help struggling farmers out west.PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

A COLLABORATION between Gympie region's three Lions clubs hopes to ease the suffering caused by drought conditions out west.

Members of the Gympie, South and Mary Valley Lions clubs met for the first time on April 7 at the Gympie RSL during a combined meeting to discuss ways to lend a hand.

The three clubs have decided to use available funds, accumulated over the last 12 months, to support efforts by Gympie racing identity, Stan Johnston, of Craiglea Stud, to make a difference.

SHARED UNDERSTANDING: South Lions’ Ray Zerner is a man of the land himself and knows the struggle.
SHARED UNDERSTANDING: South Lions’ Ray Zerner is a man of the land himself and knows the struggle.

And showing the ties between the Lions clubs and the Kenilworth Craiglea Stud are strengthening, Lions club members visited the Craiglea operation last Sunday.

Gympie South Lions Club spokesman Ray Zerner said the visit revealed the operations of the Craiglea Stud and gave a glimpse into the family's passion for life on the land and compassion for drought victims.

Mr Johnston earlier addressed the Lions clubs' combined meeting to speak of his ongoing efforts, now in a third year, to ease the hardship of those on the land.

The Gympie racing identity has been supported by his wife Marilyn and daughter Krystle in extending a hand to struggling farmers, and providing a light at the end of a very grim situation.

Mr Johnston's pitch at the recent Lions clubs' meeting was for his latest project, aiming to supply 150 iPads to remote students of the Longreach, Charleville and possibly Mt Isa Schools of the Air - a recipient of their fundraising.

During the presentation, attendees were visibly moved by distressing footage showing the drought's far-reaching impact.

"A lot of people did not realise how bad it was until Stan did his presentation," Mr Zerner said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  drought farming

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