Despite setbacks, Security Lions members continue their mission

 

Last updated 12/29/2021 at 10:31am

Submitted Photos

Chuck Larson poses with a family buying a tree from the Christmas tree lot in 2016.

Through a year of remote meetings, the Security Lions Club has kept supporting the Fountain Valley community and is looking forward to the future.

Known for such endeavors as the annual Christmas tree lots - on hold in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 and supply issues - and its eyeglass recycling programs, the club has been in Security since 1957, meeting in different locations depending on what was available.

At the moment, the Security Lions meets every fourth Thursday, 7 p.m., at St. Raphael Episcopal Church (802 Leta Drive). According to Security Lions' Treasurer Chuck Larson, the local club doesn't have a unique mission statement, but it firmly supports the Lions Club International mission statement – empowering people to "improve health and well-being, strengthen communities, and support those in need through humanitarian services and grants that impact lives globally, and encourage peace and international understanding." The club accomplishes this by supporting local educational and civic causes.


"We do eyeglasses for needy kids in both District 8 and District 3, we do Flags for First Graders... [where] we go into all the first-grade classes and do a presentation on the American flag for about 10-15 minutes," Larson explained. "We help with eye surgeries, especially experimental ones that aren't covered by insurance... we do lots of things like that, we're just in the community all the time."

Other work includes raising money for Fountain Valley Scholars, collecting shoes and clothing for kids going back to school, and sponsoring individuals with disabilities to attend Colorado Lions Camp in Woodland Park. The club's members pay an annual fee – $80 a year, $40 a semester – that takes care of administration costs, so that every dollar donated goes directly to the cause. Larson highlighted how rewarding it is being involved in these causes.

"I tell you, when we do the back-to-school clothing, it will almost bring a tear to your eye," Larson said. "Watching these kids – some of them are getting new shoes for the first time in their lives."

Membership has decreased over the years. Larson estimated there were over 100 members in the 1970s, since then the club has operated at 25-30 members. During the pandemic, several members left and many regular projects had to be halted. The club couldn't do school events or its annual Christmas tree sale in 2020; due to supply problems, the club wasn't be able to do it this year either. However, the club was able to coordinate several fundraisers by phone and email, raising money for causes like getting kids eyeglasses.

The club held its first in-person meeting this year on June 24, and returned to most of its usual summer activities. The annual Kid Spree took place the first week of August, providing new school clothes for 110 kids. The club sponsored 10 campers to attend Lions Camp, raising some of the money by providing paid parking during the 2021 Labor Day Balloon Lift Off. The club has also gotten back to one of its classic fundraising events: hosting Bingo nights at Carefree Bingo (3440 N. Carefree Circle), Wednesdays at 7-9:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

To join Security Lions, contact Chuck Larson at 719-660-2334 or email [email protected] Find out more about the club at facebook.com/Security-Lions-Club-1546567229004971. The club is officially listed as Lions Club 3555, District 6 SE.

 

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