Lions Club gives $1000 to local family in need

Earlier in the year Gladstone News shared a story on the Lions Club Community 100 Grants Program.  To celebrate the Lion Club International Centennial, the Lions Club of Boyne Island were helping to give away a $1000 grant to a local community project.

In all, the club had 10 applications from very worthy community groups within the local area, of which only one could be a winner.  Last week it was announced that the successful application was submitted by Kevina Atkinson for a Service Dog for daughter Chilli Morgan who was born with a rare disorder, Kleefstra Syndrome.

Gladstone News caught up with Kevina last week to find out more about how this grant will help her daughter and family.

7 year old Chilli has Kleefstra  Syndrome, which means a piece is missing from her 9th chromosome taking the main ‘learning gene’. She is non-verbal and is using pictures and signing for communication. Chilli started to walk independently at age 3 and her passions are water and music. She loves going to school at Rosella Park and enjoys being outdoors and bike riding.

Mum Kevina says “Chilli is cheeky with her beautiful smiles. She has a little brother called Axel and he is 4 years old. Axel is a very protective little brother and loves helping mummy and daddy with his sister.”

“We are currently fundraising for a service dog for Chilli’s quality of life. The Service Dog takes around 2 years to train depending on Chilli and the tasks we are wanting, the Service Dog to do for her. The Service Dog will keep Chilli safe in public and will alert us if she’s in danger. A trained service dog will detect a seizure up to 1 hour before hand of having one and will alert us as well. The Service Dog will be a beautiful companion for Chilli. We all can’t wait for the day we make this happy family of 4, a family of 5.”

Kevina and her family would like to thank the Lions Club for the $1000 grant that was given to Chilli Morgan to go towards her companion. The Service Dog is at a cost of $27,000, as it will be specifically trained for Chilli’s needs and the $1000 grant will go towards that cost.

“We have Chilli with her high maintenance disability, and I couldn’t have a puppy chewing ours shoes and pillows. That is why we are going this way to make it easier and better for everyone in the family.”

Kevina has set up a gofundme page to help get a service dog. If you would like to donate visit www.gofundme.com/scty8bys or call Kevina on 0417 799 351.

The Lions Club Boyne Island has also let us know that they are meeting this week to discuss the possibility of providing financial support to the other 9 applicants that were not successful. The club would like to do this based on the quality of all the applicants and their projects.