GRANGEVILLE – “Our board feels it is important to acknowledge those who demonstrate the spirit of philanthropy,” said Patrick Bird, member of the Grangeville Community Foundation (GCF) board Thursday evening, Sept. 19, at The Trails.
The Grangeville Lions Club is the recipient of the 2019 Orrin and Eleanora Webb Community Giving Award, sponsored by GCF. The Lions were presented with the award at their monthly meeting Sept. 19.
“This club’s actions definitely prove that Lions serve,” said Bird, a former Lions member. “It is with highest esteem that the GCF board of directors award the Grangeville Lions Club this award. We acknowledge the members of Grangeville Lions Club who practice the motto ‘Lions serve,” by donating time, talent and resources to benefit the community.
GCF board members on hand to congratulate the Lions in addition to Bird were Andrea Solberg, Jane Spencer, Mary Jahn and Carla Wilkins. Wilkins made a three-layer cake in honor of the occasion.
After taking a few bites of the cake, Lions member Peter Bruzas joked, “How do we get this award every year?”
The local Grangeville Lions Club was established in 1935 as a way for individuals to give their time and effort toward improving our community. As stated by Lions Club International (LCI), “Lions serve.”
Today, the local club includes 47 members who are continually volunteering to try and better our community, especially our youth.
Some areas where the Lions have benefited the community include the following:
*Lions Park was donated to the city by the Lions. Since that time, the club has donated field lights, playground equipment, picnic tables, signage, paint, bleacher pads and more. They have also been supporters of the disc golf course, skateboard park and batting cage. Consistent donations of equipment and money have also gone to the youth soccer and baseball programs, including the Babe Ruth and American Legions teams.
*Just south of the Lions Park is the brick building that has a purpose of providing services on a non-profit basis related to childhood development, educational services and programs. This building has been home for many years to Camas Prairie Preschool and GED programs.
*White Cane Days occur each May and the primary focuses of LCI is the ongoing support of sight and hearing, so donations go straight to LCI. Locally, the club also helps many individuals in need of eye care who request assistance. They also have collection boxes at various locations in town where eyeglasses are recycled for those in need. In addition, they bring the Lions’ sight and hearing van to local schools annually to test 500-700 kids who may otherwise not get their problems diagnosed.
*Lions Club sells Christmas trees annually with proceeds from those sales go toward helping with local college scholarships. Recently, the club has also started encouraging applications for vocational-technical programs as well. This past year alone, they handed out $7,500 in scholarships, and have distributed at least $65,000 throughout the years to help the community’s youth, including a $5,000 donation to the Moscow Outdoor Science School.
*One of the Lions’ biggest claims to fame are the Lion burgers served out of their trailer each Border Days and Oktoberfest. That little trailer sold more than 5,000 burgers this past Border Days alone. The profits from these burgers go right back to the community in many ways, including recently to the local food bank, youth looking for support to attend educational programs, the summer reading program at the library, Snowhaven Ski Area, Kids Klub, Senior Fun Night, Camas Prairie Pre-school, 4-H, FFA, Distinguished Young Women, Business Professionals of America and many more. The past few years other fund-raising groups have joined the Lions by working in the trailer as well to raise funds for their cause. The Lions have also served burgers at National Ag Day and hot dogs at Free Fishing Day and Trunk or Treat each year.
The Grangeville Lions meet at The Trails at 6:30 p.m., on the first and third Thursdays of each month.