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2011 is not just another year for the Ava Lions Club. It is a year that will be filled with many challenges and opportunities to serve Ava and Douglas County.
Although it is nearly impossible to name or list everything that was accomplished in 2010, we would like to review the results of 2010 and thank everyone who participated in either of the events.
Looking back in review, in 2010 the Lions conducted both hearing and visual testing for elementary students at Ava, Skyline and Plainview. We collected hundreds of pairs of glasses which will be forwarded to Lions Club International. They will be refurbished and distributed to needy people worldwide.
After the earthquake in Haiti, the Ava Lions supported the Lions International to provide several hundred thousand pairs of glasses to that country.
2010 was the first year the Lions sponsored the 5/10K walk/run event. Results far exceeded expectations with over 350 runners and walkers participating in the event. Combined total gift amounts distributed to participants was $87,000.
The totals included Branson show tickets, meals from restaurants in Ava, Branson and Springfield, coupons from local merchants and donations of fruit and drink for the event.
In addition, the Lions worked the concession facility at both the spring and fall Missouri Foxtrotter horse shows and were honored to work with BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) for their first annual bike show and fun event.
The Lions also supported the community by providing breakfast for the Ava High Seniors and chaperones for Project Graduation, provided baskets and gifts to needy families for Christmas and Thanksgiving and donated to the scholarships they provide annually to college bound seniors.
We also assisted the Chamber of Commerce with the Christmas parade.
Last but not least, the Lions donated to the Ava Bear Closet at the Ava Elementary School, which provides clothing, underwear and shoes for Ava students. The items are then distributed by the school nurses. We encourage everyone to contact the school nurses if you would like to anonymously provide these items to students.
Looking forward to 2011, the Lions have a pretty aggressive plan to serve the community.
The first item is growth. The lions have set as their membership growth goals to be the largest Lions club in the state of Missouri. That means we will have to grow by over 200 new members.
Of course, that may not be accomplished in 2011, but it is a longterm goal, with the first measurement being 50 new members. We are off to a good start having gotten 18 new members since June.
The membership drive will begin in earnest in the first quarter, 2011. With the new members, new challenges will arise. We will need to expand our current building or obtain a new, larger facility, that can accommodate not only the larger membership, but also the community. The new facility should be able to handle several separate activities at one time.
To achieve that goal the Lions have started a building fund. It is called the Anna Crofton/Betty Lou Morrison Living Memory building fund. Anna and Betty Lou are two Lions ladies who passed away in 2010. The new building fund already has $2000.
All contributions can be made in memory of a person/event/location/ etc. All contributions will be accepted, however, any contribution of $1000 or more will have a name placed on a plaque that will hang in the new facility.
It’s a great way to remember loved ones and have their memory live on forever as we continue to serve the Ava Community.
Another exciting project will be the development of the Leo club. The Leo club is for students between the ages of 12 and 18.
The Leo club members learn business methods, mentoring, how to conduct business meetings, and becoming involved in community activities. The Leos will have a community activity each quarter, which will include not only community activities but also, field trips with fun activities such as float trips, a trip to Branson, etc.
The first quarter project will be Valentines for Vets in which the Leos will prepare boxes to send to vets. The Leo club sponsor is Cleta Sweeney and her daughter Delaney. Cleta and her husband own The Concrete Works. Cleta and her daughter Delaney have been active with teens for quite some time with her church and FFA. Members of Leo will receive community service credit for the time involved in the projects.
Leo membership is open to anyone between the ages of 12-18. The meetings will be held at the Ava Lions Club building and dinner will be provided to all attendees. Any teen who is interested in becoming a Leo or any parent who is interested in having your kids getting involved or becoming a sponsor, may contact Cleta at 417-464-4545, Larry Morrison at 683-0188 or any Lions Club member.
Of course, the annual sponsorships of scholarships, gift baskets, vision and hearing testing at the schools, Project Graduation, sponsoring a Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, and Foxtrotters will continue. These are all projects in which the Leo members can actively participate and serve our community.
The date has been set for the second 5/10K Walk/Run Event. It is Saturday, May 14. Details will be provided and published soon. We anticipate 500 participants this year and prizes and coupons to exceed $100,000.
New procedures are now in place so only the first 500 participants to register will receive the runner’s packet. Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 14. If you will not be a participant in the 5/10K event, we can still use your assistance working with the event.
We will be asking for volunteers to work at the event, so you may contact Larry Morrison, 683-0188 or any Lions Member to volunteer to work for the Walk/Run Event.
On behalf of all the Ava Lions, we hope each of you had a safe and happy Christmas and will have a happy and prosperous New Year.
Ava Lions – We Serve.