These are the People in Your Neighbourhood: Mari Hall, Esquimalt Lions
EsquimaltReview.com continues a featured series entitled “These are the People in Your Neighbourhood“. In this edition, the Esquimalt Review profiles Esquimalt Lions Club volunteer Mari Hall. If you would like to contribute a community profile about an individual, group, organization, or business in Esquimalt, please send your ideas to Tim Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
She is a Lioness. Hear her Roar.
Meet Mari Hall. If you are a volunteer involved in the local community, you have likely already met her. Mari, or “Mare” as friends call her, is one of those many unsung heroes in Esquimalt who devote a great deal of time in supporting the community and helping others as a volunteer.
Mari first moved to Esquimalt seven years ago and settled in a lovely home on the corner of Grafton and Esquimalt Road. Prior to that, she resided in Sooke where she worked in the parks and recreation department and served as a volunteer firefighter. She has also been a Victoria Downtown Ambassador and is heavily involved as a member of the Esquimalt Lions.
A mother of five and grandmother of three, Mari has always made time for the Lions since first joining in 1987. Over the years, she worked her way up serving in a variety of roles for the Lions including President, Multiple District Lioness Liaison, and Past Zone Chairperson. Currently, she manages public relations for the Esquimalt Lions Club as well as for another 42 Lions Clubs and six Lioness Clubs throughout a vast region.
So, what is Mari’s favourite part about being an Esquimalt Lion?
“Seeing the individuals in the community being helped by the money that we raise,” says Hall. “My favourite was how Lions, Lioness pooled together and helped Port Alice when the mill shut down (during) Christmas. Across BC, and even in Ontario, people gave donations and they were delivered by a convoy on December 23, making the town a bit brighter for all that lived there. I am proud to be a Lion & part of that event.”
And what his her personal specialty?
“My favorite is when I do Mrs. Claus. The children are so excited to see my hubby, Old Nick, and they say such wonderful things.”
Who are the major players within the Esquimalt Lions?
“All members. We must work together as a team to accomplish what needs to be done at work parties or special events for those in need.”
In terms of profile in the community, Esquimalt Lions are very active. They organize such local activities as the “Skate with Santa” at Archie Browning Arena; Esquimalt Fire Department Open House; “Buccaneer Weekend” pancake breakfast, selling pie plates, helping at the Fireman’s dance, & also in the parade; “Celebration of Lights” food concession & parade participation; “Halloween Bonfire” food concession & judging the youth costume parade; Scholarships for Esquimalt youth; “Lantern Festival” security; “Tattoo” security; “Highland Games” food concession; HMCS Protector transporting of children & helping at the Christmas Party; and the “Easter in the Park” food concession, racing competitions, and bonnet contest.
How does the Esquimalt Lions help others?
“Our motto is ‘We Serve’,” says Hall. “We have helped many in need of hearing aids, eye glasses, seeing-eye dog guides, as well as people with special needs, disabilities and diabetes.”
Esquimalt Lions also financially support the Lions Foundation of Canada, Camp Shawnigan Special Needs, Sponsorships, C.A.R.E., 24 hour relay, Santa’s Parade, both in Victoria and in Esquimalt, and the Victoria Day Parade. They are also heavily committed to seniors and youth in need of a helping hand.
The Esquimalt Lions Club’s 60th Anniversary is fast approaching for 2011 and there has never been a better time to become involved as a member and volunteer. For more information, Mari urges Esquimalt residents to contact President Bill Koski (Phone: 250.474.5217 /email: email@example.com) or Secretary Bill Emery (Phone: 250.381.2985 /email firstname.lastname@example.org )
Mari sums up the spirit of Esquimalt quite well as a place with “a big heart that is caring for others.” That is certainly true of Esquimalt, and most certainly it is true because of the people that choose to call Esquimalt home.