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Howard Lake Lions Club members ‘get to serve’
Dec. 15, 2017

Nan Royce
Staff Writer

HOWARD LAKE – While Santa and Mrs Claus talked with little ones at Howard Lake’s Lions Hall Dec. 3, Lions members were scurrying around the basement dining hall, making sure all of their visitors were fed.

Brunch is just the beginning

Members of the Howard Lake Lions Club estimated this is their 10th season hosting the Silent Santa Breakfast Brunch.

The Lions also host Valentine’s Day and Palm Sunday brunches. The Lions don’t put a price on their brunches, but ask for a free-will donation.

“We want to make it available to anybody,” Lion Terry Thorson said.

These meals barely make a dent in the massive amount of fundraising the club completes in a typical year.

The Howard Lake Lions Club’s 33 members enjoy the following activities:

• working the meat raffle for the Maple Lake Lions Club at Trouble’s Restaurant in Howard Lake;

• hosting the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Memorial Park the day before Easter. The Lions donate a boys bicycle, a girls bicycle, and a tricycle, along with Easter baskets that have been sponsored by local businesses;

• open and operate a Youth Center typically open each Saturday night;

• support local schools’ drug awareness poster contest and peace poster contest;

• host an ice cream social at the Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home

• host an annual Halloween party;

• collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers, where LERC volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength, and package the glasses. Recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in low-and middle-income communities;

• collect used hearing aids, and send them to regional Lions Hearing Aid Recycling Centers:

• participate in National Night Out;

• give three $1,000 scholarships to local high school graduating seniors;

• donate locally to youth sports, including wrestling, trapshooting, and gymnastics.

• support local needy families, by donating gas gift cards to families that need to travel to metro medical care facilities; and,

• support Project Caring, the Joe Woitalla Fishing Expo, and local Little Free Libraries.

This list isn’t all-inclusive. The Howard Lake Lions may be seen helping at many local events, as well. For example, the Lions participate in Howard Lake’s annual Good Neighbor Days.

“We have a float in the parade and have made monetary donations towards Good Neighbor Days,” Thorson said. “We have also supported the Queen’s Dinner and their scholarships.”

Getting it done and having some fun

Gary Hagemann says defining what the Lions are all about is really quite easy.

“We help people do good things,” he said.

The Howard Lake Lions have even adapted the national organization’s mission statement, “We Serve.”

Proudly emblazoned on the club’s dining hall wall is the Howard Lake Lion’s version of the mission statement, “We ‘Get To’ Serve.”

The Howard Lake Lions meet the first and third Thursday of each month.

“A typical meeting starts at 7 p.m with a potluck dinner, and they usually last about an hour to an hour and a half,” said Thorson.

“We sometimes have “tail-twisting” where a member will fine another member for a dime. It is all in fun,” he said.

This crew will welcome you

The Howard Lake Lions Club welcomes new members, and will waive the annual dues of $55 if it is a financial burden for anyone wishing to join.

The club currently has three charter members remaining: Gary Hagemann, Darrell Main, and Charles Paschke.

Current Lions Club officers are Denise Oberpriller, president; LaNette Thorson, secretary; and Debbie McAlpine, treasurer.

Thorson said people may ask to join, or be asked to join the Howard Lake Lions.

Since it happened to be Harvey Krohn’s birthday the day of the Silent Santa Breakfast Brunch, one of his fellow Lions pleaded for new members on Krohn’s behalf.

“We’re not all as young as Harvey, anymore,” he teased. (Krohn laughed and admitted he is inching toward 80.)

Prospective members are encouraged to email the club at lions@hllions.org for additional information, or visit a meeting.

The Howard Lake Lions meet at 625 8th Street, two blocks south of Highway 12, on County Road 6. Some residents may remember the Lions meeting location as the former Walker United Methodist Church.

People may also visit the organization’s main website at http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/index.php.

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