Preeceville Lioness celebrated 30 years as a service group

The Preeceville and District Lioness Club celebrated its 30th anniversary on May 5 with a ladies night and fashion show.

The show was kicked off with ladies wine sampling, socializing and visiting the six vendors in attendance at the show. Heather Smith Gawrelitza was the mistress of ceremonies for the evening with Kerry Wiwcharuk of X-cessories by Kerry providing the commentary for the fashion show.

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Vendors included Taylor Thompson withTiberriver Products, Shayna Waite with Stone Mountain Creations, Amy Badger with Voxxlife Socks and Insoles, Joanne Craig's Jewelry, Paul's Drugstore with wine accessories and X-cessories by Kerry.

Each vendor supplied a prize for the 30th anniversary raffle and winners were Taylor Thompson, TiberRiver Products; Sheri Masko, Shayna Waite; Shantelle Descalchuk, Stone Mountain Creations bracelet; Barb Gulka, Joanne's sparkle ball necklace set; Pauline Sawka, $35 Voxxlife Socks gift certificate; Bev Berger, wine stakes from Paul's Drugstore and Monica Kovacs, Matt n Natt wallet from X-cessories by Kerry.

There were draws for various other flowers and winning the hens and chicks plant donation from Hazel Blooms Greenhouse in Hazel Dell was Michelle Yaremchuk.

The women had the opportunity to win some extra prizes from the wine ring toss game as they entered their raffle tickets.  The 50/50 draw was won by Rachel Lozinsky.

"It was a fun evening out for the women, and, if they made their way around to all the tables and used the coupons in their passport book at the end of the night they could enter their finished passport for a chance to win some relaxation therapy sponsored by The Preeceville and District Lioness Club," said Heather Smith Gawrelitza.

Winner of the massage at Tranquil Therapy with Taylor Thompson was Bonnie Paul and a pedicure by Donna Stehr from Essential Upkeep Esthetics was won by Crystal Romanchuk. Each certificate included a bottle of wine because it truly is the best medicine for relaxation.

Heather Smith Gawrelitza paid tribute to the founding president of the Preeceville Lioness Club and still an active member today, Ollie Maksymiw.

Maksymiw started the club in 1988 with guidance from her secretary Debbie Slugoski who had been a Lioness member in Saskatoon. 

The first executive included: Ollie Maksymiw, president; Karen Gregory, vice-president; Debbie Slugoski, secretary, and Rita Myhr (Miskofski), treasurer. Sheila Klebeck (Bachinski) and Jackie Pankratz were directors and Cynthia Romaniuk was the tail twister and Lioness tamer.  

"Their first fundraising project was a tea and bake sale. Over the years there have been many ladies nights and fashion shows which is why we thought we would try another one tonight to celebrate our 30th anniversary.

There has been many projects and donations as you read about tonight on our history board which will be going up in town very soon, ," said Gawrelitza. The current executive is Carol Gawrelitza, president; Bea Sekel vice president; Peggy McLelland, secretary, and Heather Gawrelitza, treasurer.

"The club started with 30 members and we are down to 16 active members and three affilitated members today so we can always use new members and ideas. Something new for the club is in a few weeks we are going to be offering the babysitting course this year and will be switching every year with the Sturgis Kinettes to offer the course.  So we look forward to working with the kids and it sounds like we have around 20 signed up so it should be a lot of fun," said Gawrelitza.

Lioness member's Judy Zaharia, Bea Sekel, and Carol Gawrelitza to help me make a special presentation to Ollie Maksymiw.

"These three ladies deserve special mention tonight as well and they have with them their 30-year wine glasses that they received last year on their anniversary to help make the toast. Judy, Bea, and Carol started with the Endeavour club and transferred to Preeceville when they moved here. Like Ollie they have all held various positions within the Lioness Club and have put in many volunteer hours in order to be able to donate and support the various activities in our community," said Heather Gawrelitza.

"Thirty years ago Lioness Ollie was dressed in a baby bonnet and bib at the first Governor’s night as the Preeceville Lioness Club was welcomed in as the newest members.  Tonight we will not make you wear the baby’s bonnet but something more fitting since you are the only active member from 30 years ago," stated Gawrelitza. A bib and babushka was put on Maksymiw which was followed by a toast to her thirty years as  a a club member.

Maksymiw recalled that when she started the club that it was met with a lot of discouragement. "My husband Nestor was a Lions member at the time and I wanted a ladies club with similiar attributes, It took a few years but when we became a organization we had 30 active members and it was so much fun. We are a local service club that features a group of ladies who enjoy a time of fellowship while raising funds to help our community and local area with various projects and donations.  The club helps people who are less fortunate than ourselves. We support many organizations locally and nationally," said Maksymiw.

Some of the club's donations have been focused on the Preeceville Hospital and Long Term Care, Preeceville Personal Care Home, Preeceville Palliative Care, Royal Hospital in Saskatoon, Yorkton Hospital, Canora Palliative Care, Children's Hospital, Mushers, Filling the Gap, Preeceville Arena and Curling Rink, Preeceville School, wheelchair accessible playground equipment, yearbook and scholarships, Western Weekend  bingo's, music festival, Prairie Women on Snowmobiles, Festival of Trees, dog guides, Lions eye bank, Lions playground and Lions cavalcade. Other things have included supporting the New Year’s baby born at Preeceville Hospital, the carnival queen and Christmas Light Tour.