Members of the Ashcroft and District Lions Club outside their newly-refurbished mobile kitchen at Desert Hills on Mother’s Day. (from l) Gordon Daly, Darlene Daly, Jackie Berkey, Ernie Kristoff, Joe Weremchuk, Sue Peters, Delila Chenery, and George Stringer. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Members of the Ashcroft and District Lions Club outside their newly-refurbished mobile kitchen at Desert Hills on Mother’s Day. (from l) Gordon Daly, Darlene Daly, Jackie Berkey, Ernie Kristoff, Joe Weremchuk, Sue Peters, Delila Chenery, and George Stringer. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Lions mobile kitchen back in business after pandemic hiatus

The familiar facility has had a face lift and is now good for many years, and events, to come

After nearly three years of being sidelined because of the pandemic, the Ashcroft and District Lions Club’s mobile kitchen was back on the road over the Mother’s Day weekend, serving up the Lions’ traditional Mother’s Day pancake breakfast at Desert Hills Ranch on Sunday, May 8.

Club president Sue Peters says that club members used the “down time” to update the trailer with new wallboard, and repair and seal leaks in the roof. The interior was repainted with washable paint that makes it easier to clean, and the shelving was pulled apart, cleaned, repainted to give it a shiny new look, and put back together. Even the sign that adorns the exterior of the kitchen got a face lift, via a new paint job.

“It’s given us many years of service, and it’s now good for many years, and many events, to come,” says Peters of the trailer, which the Lions have been using since 1985. She adds that Willow and Steve Anderson at Ashcroft Home Hardware donated all the new wallboard so they could re-do the interior.

“They’ve always been very supportive in giving us the best possible price to keep our costs down.”

The Lions’ pancake breakfast was a fixture of the Mother’s Day Fly-in at Campbell Hill airstrip for many years, but the last breakfast there was Mother’s Day 2017, just two months before the Elephant Hill wildfire destroyed much of the infrastructure at the airstrip and put an end to the fly-ins. In 2018 and 2019 David Porter at Desert Hills Ranch gave the Lions space for the kitchen to set up, but the breakfasts had to stop in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club was unable to do any events at all in 2020, but in 2021 purchased a barbecue and set up at the Cache Creek market on a few weekends. Peters says that the club is hoping to make more appearances at the market with the barbecue.

Now, with Mother’s Day under their belts, club members have set their sights on the Graffiti Days weekend in June, when they’ll be at the Cache Creek park on June 11, grilling up hamburgers and hot dogs and cooking fries for the popular Show ’n Shine event. They’re also booked in to be at the Ashcroft and District Fall Fair on Sept. 11, and Peters says the club is hoping to get the kitchen out to a couple of other events during the summer.

The one thing holding them back is lack of manpower.

“We were contacted by the drag race organizers to go up there [over the Graffiti Days weekend] but we don’t have enough manpower. We can’t do huge events, but we’re open to discussing requests.

“That said, we have a pretty amazing group. Some of our members are in their 80s, but they work their heinies off.”

She adds that one of the problems Lions Clubs have is the perception that it’s for older people. “We would really like it if young people joined.”

Peters notes that the kitchen is a big fundraiser for the club, and that when the Lions raise money in a community it can only be used to benefit that community. The majority of the funds raised within the district (Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton) goes to specifically local things, as well as societies and organizations that benefit area residents. To date, the Ashcroft and District Lions Club has supported nearly 20 local organizations, from the 4-H Club and Sea Cadets to local sports groups and fire departments.

They also present bursaries to graduating students, and have provided emergency assistance to Lytton evacuees and others who have lost their homes. The club has donated funds to organizations that local residents benefit from, such as the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Alzheimer Society of BC, and has partnered several times with Tim Hortons on the Smile Cookies campaign, which benefits local causes.

“We appreciate the support of the community,” says Peters. “People come out when they hear the kitchen will be up and running. It’s wonderful to be in it again, and we’re excited to be out and about. Once the weather gets nicer it will go back to being a big draw.”

Anyone interested in joining the club or booking the kitchen can call Peters at (250) 457-0068.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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