Lions Club wins award for diabetes kitchen project

People tour the diabetes education kitchen at Mountain Family Center during the grand reopening of the building in 2019. The Fraser River Valley Lions Club has been internationally honored for its work on the project.
Eli Pace /

The Fraser River Valley Lions Club has won a worldwide award for a project they started in Grand County.

The local Lions Club was one of 20 clubs around the world named for this year’s Lions International Kindness Matters Service Award for the Diabetes Education Kitchen project.

The Fraser Valley Lions club helped raise funds and pay for the construction of the kitchen at Mountain Family Center, which helps the community learn healthy recipes and meals and provide teacher training for diabetes-focused cooking classes.

According to the award, this project served 3,000 people and took 700 volunteer hours to complete. The kitchen cost about $42,000 to build, which was funded with a grant from Lions International along with fundraising by the Fraser Valley club and the Jackson County club.

“I think the first word that comes to my mind was, everyone was happy about it,” said Greg Orzech, outgoing president of the club. “People in the are just happy they can contribute in a meaningful way.”

The award coincides with another big milestone for the club, which has now invested over $1 million into the local community since 2010 through donations, grants and scholarships.

The Fraser Valley Lions Club has 111 members, making it the largest Lions Club in the state. Along with fundraising, the local Lions Club offers a number of community building programs as well including free eyesight screening for students and the annual Festival of Trees.

To learn more about the organization, go to

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