Letter: Mid-Day Lions Club needs more good members

Culpeper County is blessed by a large number of charitable organizations whose purpose is to provide assistance to citizens who are in need of a helping hand. While the list is long and impressive I am most familiar with the Mid-Day Lions Club.

Most every citizen is aware that the primary mission of the Lions Club International is to address the sight and hearing needs of the community they serve. Culpeper is blessed to have three different Lions Clubs to offset the cost of these services contributing one-third of the annual cost. Other than Mid-Day, the two other clubs are DAWN and Club-92.

The primary income source to provide the sight and hearing needs comes from the Mid-Day Lions Sunday Night Bingo held at Pepperâ??s Grill. Early Bird Games start at 6:30 p.m. While Mid-Day takes the lead, it wouldnâ??t be successful without the support of DAWN and Club-92. The most important support we receive is the loyal and unfailing support of our bingo players. Rain or shine, they show up, enthusiastic for a night of fun and possible profit.
Other funds are raised through the selling of the world famous Lions Brooms, peanut sales and a percentage of concession sales at local football games. Yard sales, managing the booths at the Fourth of July Festival and the annual Christmas Pancake Breakfast also provide funds.

The list is long of the charitable work that club members perform throughout any given year. As an example, hearing aids and glasses. From July 2014 to June of this year, more than $16,000 was raised which provided services to 114 adults and 22 children. We must acknowledge the assistance the clubs receive for eye glasses from Drs. Elias, Dixon, Hoover and Brear. More than $6,500 was directed to the childrenâ??s Christmas shopping program. $3,000 to the Culpeper Food Closet. $1,000 to the Soap Box Derby. $15,500 in scholarships. $3,000 to SAFE and another $2,000 to the Culpeper Senior Center and the list goes on.

Folks, the total resources provided by the Lionâ??s Clubs in Culpeper during this period totaled $81,254.60.

This does not include the 32 hours annually standing outside the entrance of WalMart ringing the bell for Salvation Army or the countless hours spent by all clubs manning the sight and hearing van.

You may not be aware of the sacrifices made by club members on the communityâ??s behalf from annual dues to monthly meetings to supporting the various events throughout the year.

What do they receive for these sacrifices? A feeling that they are in a small way paying back for the privilege of living and working in our little paradise.

The purpose of this letter is threefold:
1. inform the citizens of our county of the good work being accomplished in their behalf by a number of organizations. This one talks about the Lions Clubs;

2. brag a bit. My momma told me that if the story was true, it was not bragging. Folks this actually is not bragging; and

3. this is a recruiting pitch. Many of the members, male and female, are getting a bit long in the teeth. The current generation does not appear to be as focused on doing good work for their friends and neighbors as generations have in the past.

We need to turn that around. We need new members. Please contact Bruce Hundley at 825-1094 or Jim Calhoun at 937-1730. If nothing else, youâ??ll get a free lunch out of this.

If I were a young business man or woman or a member of the city government, county work force, white, blue or no collar, I would hang this letter near the entrance of my place of business/office or fork lift and tell folks, this is the kind of place Culpeper is and my name is going to be listed as a member the next time it is printed.

Jim Calhoun

Editorâ??s Note: See Whatâ??s Happening for details on the upcoming Mid-Day Lions Club Shopping Spree for Children Dec. 12.