September 24, 2007

The Howard Lake Lions are service oriented

By Jenni Sebora

Committed locally but also giving abroad, the Howard Lake Lions have been serving its community and beyond for almost 30 years.

Chartered in 1978, the Howard Lake Lions consists of more than 30 members, men and women whose goal is service.

The local Howard Lake Lions Club is a service organization affiliated with Lions International.

“We are here for service,” current Howard Lake Lions’ President Gary Hagemann said of the local club.

And serve it does.

One-hundred percent of its fundraising goes out to various projects and needs locally, nationally, and internationally.

Nationally and internationally, the club supports projects such as Lions’ Eye Bank, Children’s Eye Clinic, Lions Club International Foundation, Leader Dog, Hearing Dog, Camp Friendship, Camp Courage, Campaign Sight First, The Wellness Van, Diabetes Foundation, drug abuse prevention programs, and so on.

Although the club gives beyond its own community, it is committed locally, Hagemann noted.

“We help where there is a need,” Hagemann said. And it makes no difference who it is, Hagemann added. In many situations, the club does not know who the recipient is.

“We don’t need to know who it is for,” Hagemann said.

Locally, the club has bought eye glasses and hearing aids for needy students, donated to families whose homes have been lost to fire, bought wheelchairs and walkers, and built wheelchair ramps.

Teachers and administrators often contact the Lions Club regarding a student in need of eye glasses or hearing aids, Hagemann explained.

Turkeys for Project Caring, the Wright County Food Shelf, the City of Howard Lake, and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Schools are some of the other recipients of the local Lions Club donations.

A LED welcome sign at the east end of town, a broom for the city tractor and bathrooms at the Lions Park and Memorial Park, new dugouts and a fence around the ballfield at Memorial Park were some projects the Lions Club donated to.

After Prom Party, Peer Helpers, DARE, SLAM, FFA, Quest, the athletic department for a new weight room, and scholarships for graduating seniors are some of the HLWW school programs the Lions have helped out.

One of its major projects is the Good Neighbor Days celebration. The Lions Club works with the Howard Lake Fire Department, Fired Up Lions, to sponsor different activities during the city’s annual celebration.

Because overhead costs were becoming too high, the Howard Lake Lions Club no longer sells pull-tabs to raise money. The club raises funds through other fundraising events.

Pancake feeds, bingo, wild game feeds, spaghetti dinner, a fish fry, a radar run on Howard Lake, haunted houses, golf tournament, for the last couple of years a Branson concert featuring Bruce Hoffman are among the events the club hosts to raise money for the various projects it donates to.

In its first year of the Hoffman concert, the Lions raised more than $10,000, which was donated to HLWW Schools and St. James Lutheran School in Howard Lake.

Hagemann also noted that when a need arises, the club will host a fundraiser for individual needs, as well.

The Lions meet the first and third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the old Walker United Methodist Church building in Howard Lake. Guests and new members are welcome.

Howard Lake Lions

President: Gary Hagemann

First Vice President: Darren McAlpine

Second Vice President: Cathy Rufer

Third Vice President: Duane Hass

Treasurer: Terry Thorson

Secretary: LaNette Thorson


Julie Gangl

Karen Fiecke

Nancy Main

Dan Oestreich


Tom Fiecke

Susan Grangroth

Stephanie Jensen

Lion Tamers:

Debbie McAlpine

Renee Lahr

Tail Twister: Mike Main

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