By Kristen Miller
KINGSTON, MN - The Kingston Lions are finding themselves pretty busy cats throughout the year between fundraisers and benefits for community members.
Though the club works hard to coordinate many different events through the year, it knows it wouldn’t be a success without the community’s support, said Joann Strand, club secretary.
“The community really supports us and all of our events,” she said.
The Kingston Lions chapter was chartered Dec. 16, 1988, for the purpose of men and women serving their own community, as well as through national and international Lions programs.
There are still 10 charter members active in the club including John Juusola, who is the current president.
Currently, there are 39 members in the club, down from 41 just a few months ago. This was the club’s all-time high for memberships. The club meets the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Kingston Community Center.
There are a number of fundraising events organized by the Lions including the most recent March Fish Fry, which takes place annually on the third Friday in March and is done in conjunction with the Kingston Legion.
The next event is the Kingston Lions Antique Car Run, which includes a pork dinner, Saturday, Aug. 2.
Then there is the turkey dinner, Sunday, Oct. 3. This takes place annually, also in conjunction with the Kingston Legion.
The first weekend in February is the Lion’s Fishing Contest on Lake Francis. This is one of the Lion’s biggest fundraisers and includes a raffle, which this year raised about $2,000.
Its biggest fundraiser is the selling of flag poles. The club sells poles at the Annandale Flea Market three times a year including Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend, and Labor Day weekend.
As a community service, the Lions host benefits for individuals or families in need.
One of their most successful benefits recently was the Robin and Ryan Pettit family benefit last fall.
The Kingston Lions also awards three scholarships to local high school seniors from Dassel-Cokato, Litchfield, and Kimball high schools.
Something the club is proud of are that two of their members, Deb and Bob Harms, have gone beyond the Kingston Club.
Deb Harms is currently council chair, but served as district governor (District 5M4 has about 55 clubs) for 2007-08; and husband Bob is the executive secretary for District 5M representing about 600 clubs.
In addition, David Hendrickson, who is currently the club’s vice president, has also served three years as zone chairman.
The club is looking forward to the next big event the Lions International convention, which will be in Minneapolis Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 10.
For more information about the Kingston Lions and how to join, contact Strand at (320) 236-2632.