Ingersoll Lions Club strives for safer future with car show funds used to purchase defibrillators

By Morgan Lobzun


With as many as 300 people attending the inaugural event last year, the Ingersoll Lions Club was hoping for an increase in the turnout at its second swap meet and car show June 9 at the Ingersoll arena.

The event was held as a fundraiser to purchase defibrillators - averaging $1,800 each - and airway management equipment for the Ingersoll Fire Department.

“Last year we were able to purchase four defibrillators for the Ingersoll Fire Department. This year we hope to raise enough money to buy six more, plus airway management pieces that work with the defibrillators,” said Mike Connor, second vice president of the Lions Club and car show organizer.

The day’s events ran from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and included upwards of 50 vendors located inside and outside the arena, and alongside the car show that was outside. As well, the Lions Club ran a 50/50 raffle draw with donations from local business totalling more than 40 door prizes. There was free admission for the public.

“This year we had a lot of advertising and received a lot of phone calls from car enthusiasts who wanted spots,” said indoor vendor organizer Nicole Symons. “Not only that, but we didn’t have so many direct sales tables and instead replaced it with crafts and swap/ trade tables.”

It all began with the passing of Connor’s father and how the first responder on site used a defibrillator.

“Everyone did what they could do, but most importantly, they had the right equipment with them to do so,” said Connor.

Thankful and impressed with the first response team, Connor approached the Ingersoll Lions Club with an idea. They should fundraise for the local fire department to have the same equipment to help people in need, with the best life-saving tools that his father received.

“This helps us, because it provides us with necessary tools for us to do our job,” said Gord Benko, Ingersoll volunteer firefighter.

The goal is to have no cost coming from taxpayer or the fire department to purchase the equipment. The club wants to provide top-of-the-line defibrillators that have an extended lithium battery with 10-year warranty, a case, and higher end unit pads that match the ones used by EMS.