Forming the new Lions Club was a daunting task, but one that has brought immense satisfaction to all of us new members.
It's been refreshing to see the satisfaction on everyone's faces as we come together a couple of times a month to discuss doing good deeds for the community.
The idea to form a new club began nearly two years ago when a few of us discussed the possibility and we began gathering like-minded people. It wasn't a chore, it was actually a rewarding experience.
Bringing people together who want to serve the community and provide service to youth projects and seniors are the goals we've decided for our club. Members of the club filled out a questionnaire and that is what we've voted to focus on.
We members came together for our first fundraising event to hold a community yard sale. While we were not a registered club at the time, it gave us all an opportunity to get to know each other.
Then we helped the folks who organize the Weissport Redneck Festival run the Chinese auction over the Labor Day weekend that first year together. During the period of getting ready for the festival and working at the event, we learned who had artistic skills in making up the baskets and we also learned who was good at handling money. We were becoming a great team.
Around the time of the Redneck Festival we were close to becoming a club and by Sept. 20, 2012, we had received our official charter. We were ecstatic and began planning a Charter celebration.
In the middle of all that, we held our first Old Fashioned Hayride and Fall Festival and gave a lot of older people and people with disabilities the opportunity to take a hayride along the historic towpath during the height of the fall foliage. We also made some money that we have used to help the community.
Our Charter Celebration held Dec. 11, 2012, was gratifying. Seeing the other clubs and District dignitaries attending the event to help us celebrate the event made all the work to form a club worthwhile. We basked in the spotlight for a bit before we decided to dig in and plan another fundraiser.
Since then we held a Kettle Corn fundraiser, numerous covered dish events and got through another Chinese auction at the Redneck Festival and yet another Old Fashioned Hayride and Fall Festival as we have a lot of projects we want to fund.
We had a lot of help along the way from past District Governors Scott and Judy Dudley with forming our new club. Without their constant support and advice, the road to forming a new club would have been a lot longer and bumpier.
As a member of the newly formed Beltzville Lions Club, I thank the new members for coming together and helping build a strong club.
We have lots of diverse occupations within the club, from me, a reporter at the TIMES NEWS, to a vet tech, a state representative and his wife, retired member of the sherif's department, to a contractor of a major project on the Broad Mountain. We all have the same desire - to form a good Lions Club that will grow and prosper and provide support for the local community. We also plan to make a lot of new friends and have some fun along the way.
We have more than a year under our belts, and while it has been a lot of work, it has also been rewarding.
If you've ever been interested in learning more about Lions, now is the time to talk to one of your neighbors or friends who has a connection to Lions or you can always contact me. Lions has something for everyone and we would welcome you to find out where you fit in.