The Appomattox Lions Club, which was established in 1939, has been an important organization of local leaders and has contributed much to the community over the years.
Consistent with the Lions worldwide focus on vision health, the club has furnished eyeglasses to worthy applicants, collected used eyeglasses for re-use and has more recently added the annual sight testing of county students. A hearing aid recycling program is also in place.
Community-wise, the Lions have provided or assisted in school facilities and awards, sold war bonds, help scouting and other youth organizations, provided a pavilion at the community park and performed many other beneficial deeds.
To fund their efforts, the Lions have held horse shows, concerts, food festivals, raffles, donation drives and sold fruit cakes, light bulbs and brooms. 100 percent of funds derived from such efforts are fed back into the community.
During the pandemic, many civic organizations and other non-profits have experienced difficulties due to finances, unable to hold fundraising events and/or lack of attendance to meetings or other gatherings that could produce donations or other revenue. While the Lions also share these challenges, the real difficulty is another.
Your local Lions Club is suffering from a severe decline in membership. Just a generation ago, there was a membership cap at 75 and a waiting list to join. Current membership has dropped to 18 with further attrition likely soon. Although the number of members is still sufficient to mount community projects and fundraising events, the advanced age of those members without some more youthful participants makes it unlikely.
Why are there no younger professionals as members? The answer is probably not a single issue but a multitude of things. More recent generations just do not seem to have the same sense of obligation to society as was present years ago.
If you would like to help rebuild the Appomattox Lions Club into the vibrant, community-active organization that it has been, please join in. Contact President Sam Carter, V-P Denzil VanSwearingen, Secretary John Redding or any other Lion to get involved. You can help those in our community that are in need.
Lions Clubs International (LCI) is an international, non-political, service organization established originally in 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, by Melvin Jones. It is now headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois. As of January 2020, it had over 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members (including the youth wing Leo Clubs) in more than 200 countries around the world.
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