Racers on the Cutting Edge They don’t have to be fancy, expensive or sleek. They do, however, have to be able to move in order to compete in the Fairfield, Tennessee, Lions Club’s annual lawn mower races. Riding mowers come in all makes, models and shapes—as do their owners—when it comes to vying for the top spot. Crowds gather early at the Lions Clubhouse where the races are held. Lions charge $5 admission for adults and $2 for children 6 to 12, with free admission to those under 6. There is bleacher seating available but families also set up their lawn chairs early for the popular event. Fairfield Lions point out that all funds raised stay in the community as Lions pay for vision testing and eyeglasses for people in need and support other local projects. Canine Partnership Raises Funds Members of the Hillside and Elizabeth Borinquen Lions Clubs in New Jersey have formed a unique partnership not only with each other—but also with their dogs—to raise money for a number of good causes. Lions were part of a group of 5,000 people and pets who took part in the “Because Your Dog is Worth It, Too” event sponsored by L’Oreal and held on its corporate grounds. All funds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for cancer research. “My dog did a painting with his paws,” says Hillside Lion Nancy Jakubczyk. “There are so many activities for the dogs to participate in as well as family fun.” In addition to the walk with pets, rescue dogs were available for adoption. The two clubs also unite every year for a “Roar for the Cure Diabetes Dog Walk,” during which vision, hearing and blood sugar screenings are offered, and have raised funds together for local K-9 police dogs by sponsoring—appropriately—another dog walk. “We do a lot of walks with the dogs wearing yellow vests with Lion patches on the sides. We keep very busy,” Jakubczyk points out. Fun in the Mud Mud means money—at least to the 31 members of the Kearney, Missouri, Lions Club. For several years, they’ve created a muddy stretch of roadway in a grassy field and charged people to watch as trucks try to make their way through it. As trucks churn up the mud, cheering spectators watch to see if they’ll even make it out of the trough. Last year, more than 130 trucks participated. Two different categories keep the level of excitement up. The first is a 125- foot-long bog, created by Lions who till the ground and add water to keep challenging truck drivers. A second 150-foot “fast track” is just lightly churned to keep trucks moving through. The event has increased so much in size that Lions now let the local Optimist Club run the concessions, and in return, receive a percentage of the profits. “It grows every year. We have participants from several states,” explains Club Secretary Marion Hood, who joined the club with her husband, Gerald, in 2008. In addition to raising money, the Mud Run is a great way to promote Lions. “This past year, one of the drivers from our area decided to become a member of our club,” she says. “It’s a fun event that involves many months of work and sets up for a very long day for our members.” She points out, “It’s one of the biggest money-makers of the year. The funds are used to help with vision screening and glasses for kids in the community as well as supporting youth and youth activities in our schools. We also have a good supply of hospital equipment that’s loaned to locals when needed. Money is needed to keep our equipment in good repair and purchase items when needed.”
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Raising+Funds/1063188/111565/article.html.