Lions Club looks to add to its roster of members

GLOVERSVILLE — Local Lions Club members visited the Downtown Business Improvement District Board of Directors to discuss some of the organization’s activities and a membership event the city’s club will be hosting on Monday.

Lions Club Second Vice District Governor Ed Pike and Lions Hearing Conservation Society President Rick Brisee attended the June 12 BID board meeting in an effort to attract new members to the city’s club chapter.

“Gloversville Lions Club has been around for 79 years, and we’re trying to bring them back from the dead. The membership is down to virtually where they wanted to close the club, and I cannot see doing that,” Pike said.

The city chapter currently has eight members in what Pike said is the biggest service organization in the world, with nearly 1.5 million members in 44,000 clubs in 210 countries and territories. The Lions Club is currently in its 101st year.

Pike noted that each Lions Club is able to raise money however they prefer. The funds are donated to an organization or cause of the club’s choosing. The Lions Club focuses primarily on sight, hearing and diabetes programs.

Locally the Lions Club has partnered with the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany to provide vision screenings at area preschools and has partnered with local schools to provide eyeglasses to children at no cost to families.

To address hearing issues, the Lions Club provides hearing devices to 10 loan out centers throughout the area where individuals can borrow pieces of hearing equipment to try for a night or up to a month before buying a device through their audiologist.

The Lions Club can also provide financial aid to individuals to purchase hearing aids or equipment if they can’t afford it.

“We’d rather have them have it and we’ll absorb the cost rather than go without,” Brisee said. “If you can’t hear, you can’t interact with people and it’s just a lesser quality of life.”

The Lions also provide education sessions surrounding diabetes and host breakfast events where they show people how to prepare healthy meals among other fundraising events and charitable initiatives.

The Lions are self-funding through annual membership fees that are set by each club. The city club has membership dues of $65 per year. Dues are used for administrative purposes and are kept separate from any funds that the clubs may raise. Club members may also choose to donate directly to their club’s administrative fund.

The city club meets twice a month. They organize and run various fundraising events throughout the year.

Pike noted that club members are under no obligation to be involved with running or organizing events at any level.

During Monday’s membership event, city residents are invited to learn more about the Lions Club while enjoying the salad bar that includes soup and bread free of charge at the Plaza’s Italian Bistro. A cash bar will also be available.

Each guest is encouraged to consider becoming a member of the city Lions Club, which Pike said is a great way to get involved in the community.

“There’s a great need for all of the things that Lions do in Gloversville,” Pike said. “And it helps you become a better community member.”

The city Lions Club membership event will be held Monday at 7 p.m. at Plaza’s Italian Bistro. A light meal will be provided and a cash bar available.

Those who would like to attend are asked to RSVP by Friday by contacting Ed Pike at (518) 423-9128 or by email at weski48@yahoo.com.

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