Monday, 6 January 2014

Hoist with my own petard.

Yes, that's me.

Two or three months ago I wrote a piece in Brighton Lions Club's monthly newsletter in which I complained that the club was spending too little money.  I went on to suggest that the club members needed to be more proactive in finding suitable causes to support.  I don't think my comments caused it, but the Lion who had for many years been responsible to investigating grant applications asked to be relieved of the duty.  There wasn't exactly a stampede of volunteers to take the job on so, after a reasonably delay, I told the president that I would do it on a temporary basis.

I have now been given the 16 chock-full ring binders that contain all the paperwork for every application over the past umpty years that my predecessor had been doing the job, together with numerous other books and papers.  I have to confess that I shall not be as pernickety in questioning applicants for funding as he was, although it is certainly my intention to exercise due diligence.

We do have to be a little careful.  Some years ago, another Lions Club near us suggested that the local clubs should contribute to a charity which produced a talking magazine.  They were looking for something in excess of £50,000 to switch from using tape cassettes to CDs.  This money would, they said, cover the capital outlay and the increase in running costs for three years.  Some of the other clubs were a bit gung-ho but we wanted more information.  As a result, we discovered that they had no plans for fund-raising to cover the increased running costs at the end of the three years.  More importantly, we discovered that during the previous few months, the £20,000 that had been in their bank account had mysteriously disappeared.  They were never able to explain this and the charity was wound up very soon after.

Then there was the time when one of the leaders of a youth organisation complained that the Lions never supported them and they needed £350 to do something.  I had a quick look and discovered that the local branch had more money than the Lions Club, well in excess of £70,000!  I suggested they spend their own money first.

I already have three cases to put to the next meeting of Brighton Lions.


A couple of doors in Stanmer: first, Stanmer House, then one of the cottages in the village.


The Broad said...

Enjoy your new duties, BP -- but I do hope you have not bitten off more than you'll want to chew!

John May said...

I'm interested in the talking magazine. I now run four TNs and it costs about £7500 to set one up, nothing like the figures you'd been quoted. What happened to the TN?

I don't know if he is on your list but my son Dan May is now running the rapid response unit. So if you have been responsible for the support he has been getting, thank you.

John May

#1Nana said...

I had that job with our local Lions Club for awhile. It's a thankless task. Once in awhile someone would remember to write a note to the club to thank them, but usually I got the phone calls from people who were irritated that the club didn't give them enough money to buy the glasses that they wanted and they demanded more! It takes the fun out of being charitable! I'm not doing Lions now that I retired.

Brighton Pensioner said...

John, that magazine folded very quickly. As for Dan, we will be considering the First Responders at our meeting next week.