Kossie and her crew keen to hit the $100,000 mark

Balaklava Lions Club’s Biggest Morning Tea is back on Friday, May 17, and this year marks another significant milestone in the club’s history – the 20th anniversary of the local event.

But that’s not all! Over the past 20 years, the dedicated band of Lions Club members and their helpers have raised almost $92,000, and would love to reach the magic milestone mark of $100,000 in their 20th year.

“The event has grown over the years, and with funds raised so far coming only from our Lions event, it shows the support we have had from community members and local businesses,” Lions Club secretary, Kossie Chegwyn said.

The event was instigated by former local, Vern Atyeo, in memory of his ‘favourite’ daughter-in-law, Janne, who died in 1999 from multiple myeloma, when aged just 47.

“Vern brought the idea up at a Lions meeting, and I was keen to help, as a lot of people I knew, and friends and parents of kids on the bus I drove, had also been affected by cancer, so we started the first morning tea that year in the CWA rooms,” Kossie said.

The first year also saw the first ‘delivery’  – Kossie was seen racing to Cunninghams on her scooter to deliver the famous Lions donuts, while the helpers served up scones in the CWA rooms!

“The next year, we started deliveries around the town, and now average 50 per year.”

While morning tea now comprises an assortment of homemade goodies, the trusty Lions donut van is always parked outside the town hall, very handy to buy a bag or two to take home ’for later!’

“We also work in with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Auxiliary – we help them with goodies for their trading table on the Friday before Mother’s Day (May 10), and they work on our trading table at the morning tea,” Kossie said. “It’s great to see groups working together.”

This year, guest speakers will be David and Joy Woodroofe, who will speak on how cancer has affected their family.

“We will also have a raffle, with prizes donated by generous local traders, and will be selling tickets outside Foodland this Friday, and on Thursday, May 16,” Kossie said.

Morning tea orders for delivery to businesses are being taken now, and must be advised to Kossie by Thursday night or you’ll miss out!

While this year is a milestone, next year will see an even bigger celebration – the 50th anniversary of the Balaklava Lions Club.

We can’t wait to see what Kossie and the team have in store!

If you can help the Lions Club with food for the morning tea or trading table next week, please contact Kossie on 0408 899 984.

• Pictured: Balaklava guru volunteer Kossie Chegwyn learns from the master, Vern Atyeo, at one of the original Balaklava Biggest Morning Teas, and Kossie will be busy on her bike delivering for the 2019 Biggest Morning Tea.
PIC: Ethan Allen