One of Portage la Prairie's longest-running volunteer groups is disbanding after 80 years of service.

Former Lions Club member Kay Humphrey says they decided to disband at the end of 2023, due to membership numbers dwindling and the members getting older. She notes that there are plenty of volunteer opportunities now, as opposed to when the Lions Club was getting off the ground.

"We tried generating new volunteers, but it didn't seem to work out," explains Humphrey. "COVID-19 hit us hard because our funding was mostly from the auctions that we used to have. For three years, we couldn't have auctions, so we had no funds coming in."

The Lions' name is all over the community and they contributed in many ways, including aiding seniors and donating to various food drives throughout Portage. In fact, one of the communities main facilities for seniors is the Lions Prairie Manor.

Now that the club's no longer operating, the keys to the Lion's Den building at 290 Royal Road South will go to the City of Portage la Prairie. Humphrey doesn't expect the City to decide what to do with the building until the spring or summer.

"We're very sad that we had to close up the den," notes Humphrey. "The City has been so great. We've been in that location for 26 years. It was a very, very hard decision to give it up, but unfortunately, we had no choice."

Humphrey adds that the members of the Lions Club felt like family to her, leading to her having some great memories with the club.

Efforts are being made by a new group to keep the Lions name alive in the city and an April 4th information meeting has been scheduled to try and do just that.