Local Lions Club hosts regional convention
WINTER PARK — A pride of lions will be arriving to Winter Park starting May 3 for a Lions Club regional convention.
Arriving by Amtrak or auto to attend the May 3-5 Colorado Lions District 6 West Convention, hosted by the Fraser River Valley Lions Club, members will be arriving from more than 30 different West Slope communities, including Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Rifle, Fruitvale, Grand Junction, Orchard Mesa and Redlands.
Convention attendee check-in will begin on Friday at the Winter Park Mountain Lodge, followed by a weekend of workshops, displays by the various clubs, training sessions, dinners, award ceremonies and entertainment, including a presentation on the history of Winter Park.
The purpose of the gathering is to share philosophies and ideas for being a meaningful and successful service organization and to introduce West Slope Coloradans to the beauty of Winter Park, Fraser and Grand County.
Lions Club International began in 1917 when Chicago businessman Melvin Jones asked members of his local business club to reach beyond business and address the betterment of their communities. Within three years, Lions became an international organization.
The Fraser River Valley Lions Club was chartered in 1981 with 25 members. Today it has more than 100 members dedicated to community service, giving 100 percent of the money raised to the community.
The first fundraising effort of the local club was a pancake breakfast, held in a tent that summer of 1981, followed by the sale of Christmas trees that winter — events still continuing today. The first Fraser 9-News Health Fair was held in 1981, and 32 years later it is still being hosted locally by the club and offering affordable health care to the community. In 1985, the U.S. Forest Service tasked the Lions Club with reopening the Arapahoe National Forest campgrounds in the Fraser River Valley. Managing and operating these campgrounds is one of the largest fundraising efforts of members. In 1986, the club initiated college scholarships for local graduating high school students; today, the club annually grants six scholarships totaling $11,000. And because eyesight has always been important to Lions, kids’ vision screenings are an ongoing project. Throughout the year the Lions Foundation of Fraser Valley provides vision care to local students, and oversees a Kidsight program for vision screening of young children.
Each fall the club seeks grant requests from all family-oriented nonprofit organizations within Grand County. The annual financial support given by the local Lions Club through its Foundation to the Grand County community is more than $50,000, raised by the club through pancake sales, an annual golf tournament, the Christmastime Festival of Trees, Christmas tree sales, campgrounds and Winter Park Resort’s Powder Partners.
For more information about the local Lions and its activities, visit http://www.fraservalleylions.org.
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