By Jen Bakken
DELANO, MN A lion, mane and all, has been calling a garage in a Delano neighborhood home for the past few weeks.
The lion was in bad shape. His eyes were missing, and he was in major need of some tender loving care.
Fortunately, Debbie Ike of Delano was just the right person to help the lion roar back to life.
Many may recall this lion as a drinking fountain and unique fixture at the Loretto Lions Park. For years now, he has been in need of repair and stored in a shed.
Ike’s father was a member of the Loretto Lions, and her brother, Tony Rodine, is now a member, so when she was asked to revamp the lion, she didn’t hesitate to take on the task.
“The neighborhood has loved watching the lion’s progress,” said Debbie Ike. “Kids would ride by on their bikes, and we’ve been teased that we have the world’s biggest lawn ornament.”
As a stay-at-home mom and someone who regularly dabbles in painting, including murals, furniture and face painting, the lion was in very good hands.
Sanding and priming took place before the painting could begin, and it was only a matter of two weeks before Ike completed the piece of artwork.
The timing couldn’t have been better. The lion was ready just in time for the Loretto Lions 40th anniversary Aug. 11 at the Lions Park, where a barbeque was enjoyed by members, their families, and the community.
“I hope everyone realizes all the great things the Loretto Lions Club has done over the past 40 years,” Ike said. “And I hope the lion can bring a smile to a few faces or bring back fond memories.”