By Kristen Miller
KINGSTON, MN The Kingston Lions Club continues to be dedicated to serving residents of Kingston and its surrounding community in times of need.
Chartered in December 1989, the Kingston Lions Club currently has 46 members, nine of whom are charter members.
The Lions Club International exists to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace, and promote international understanding.
Each year, Kingston Lions awards $500 scholarships to students in three local high schools Dassel-Cokato, Litchfield, and Kimball and donates to the Meeker County Emergency Food Shelf and the Dassel Area Food Shelf.
In addition, members packed nine holiday baskets with food for community members in need just in time for Thanksgiving.
“It makes you feel good being a part of an organization like this because of all the people you help along the way,” Michelle Zwettler commented on why she is a member of the Lions.
In addition to providing for individual needs, the Kingston Lions also contributes to needs and improvements in the community.
For example, the club is in the process of purchasing a defibrillator for the Kingston Community Center, with the help of outside contributions.
It also helped fund the veterans memorial in downtown Kingston.
In order to be able to help when needs arise, the club hosts a number of fundraisers each year.
“All the money we take in, goes back to charity,” said Bob Harms.
Coming up Saturday, Feb. 4, the club is hosting its annual ice fishing contest on Lake Francis from 1 to 3 p.m.
Prizes for size of fish and cash drawings will be given away.
The cost is $5 to fish will proceeds benefiting the high school scholarships and community needs.
The Lions along with the Kingston Legion will host a fish fry Friday, March 16 at the Kingston Community Center.
Also in conjunction with the Legion, the Lions host a turkey dinner the third Sunday in October.
An event that the town and the Lions Club is particularly proud of is the annual New London New Brighton antique car run that stops in Kingston the second weekend in August.
For this, the Lions sell pork dinners to the crowd.
Other fundraisers include selling flag poles with the Legion, straw brooms, and chair and table rentals.
The sale of flag poles is “by far our best fundraiser,” Harms said, explaining that the club was able to donate $2,000 to the victims of 9/11 back in 2001.
“I thought that was something pretty impressive,” he said.
The Lions Club also hosted a Christmas concert with the Kingery family in December and a community blood drive last fall.
In addition to local giving, the club also donates to national charities as well including Can Do Canines Assistance Dogs program.
“Our motto is ‘we serve,’ and we do,” said Betty Herman.
Member Joann Strand referenced the saying “If you want happiness for a half a day, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a lifetime, do good for others.”
“Basically, I think people who help others are happier individuals,” Strand said.
Being a part of the club is also about having a good time.
“If we didn’t have fun, we wouldn’t do it,” said Susan Jarl.
How to join
The Kingston Lions Club meets the third Thursday of the month at the Kingston Community Center at 7:30 p.m.
Annual dues are $40.
Anyone interested in joining can come to a meeting or contact any of the officers.
The 2012 board of directors:
President: Deb Harms
Vice president: Joyce Peikert
Secretary: Susan Jarl
Treasurer: Sandy Smith
Information is also on the club’s website. Click here.