Enjoying a Piece of the Pie The New Germany and Area Lions in Nova Scotia, Canada, have heard about making lemonade from lemons. But they have apples, so they make apple pie, and their pie project has been nothing but sweet and successful. Four years ago, one Lion in the club of 31 pitched her idea to make apple pies and sell them as a fundraiser. Their club is a short drive from the Annapolis Valley, known for apple orchards and wineries. “And everybody likes apple pie,” says Lion Deb Featherby. “So we tried it. We sold a few hundred that first year and it snowballed from there.” This year the club sold 1,389 pies in a town of about 450 people. “New Germany has suburbs,” explains Featherby with a chuckle. And the Lion pie bakers have a following. Lions start by going with their trucks and trailers to a nearby orchard where the Cortland apples have been picked and are ready for them in large wooden bins. (They believe Cortlands make the best pie). The crew transfers the apples to 20-pound bags and hauls them back to town, knowing each pie will require six to eight apples. In the Pinehurst Hall a few days later, the stage is set. About 75 volunteers—Lions and friends—have specific jobs to do. There are dough makers, peelers, slicers, sugar and spicers, people who put the bottom dough in the foil pie plates and people who fill the pies. At the end of the line, Lions put the top crusts on the pies and others bag them for delivery. None are baked. Farmers get the big buckets of apple peels to feed to their cows, so nothing is wasted. Eggs for the dough—420 this year—are fresh from a nearby farm, so nothing is stale. And the camaraderie is high, so nobody complains. “There’s no pause for anything,” says Featherby, a dough maker. “It’s the best day ever.” The Lions take pie orders beforehand, and in the afternoon on pie making day they deliver the unbaked pies to the customers. Some will pop one pie right in the oven for dinner and save others in the freezer for Christmas. (An unbaked apple pie will get soggy). As much as Featherby appreciates a piece of warm apple pie, she doesn’t bake one when she gets home. She goes to bed. “You just don’t stop on pie day,” she says. “But it’s fun. We go from 7 in the morning until 5, 6, 7 at night, and when we’re done, I’m flour from head to toe. And I’m tired.” The Lions used 32.5 bags of flour, 90 bags of sugar, nine tubs of margarine, 2,700 pounds of apples and 394 packages of shortening this year, says Featherby, and they earned a profit of $10,000. Next year they might have to increase the price of a pie from $7.50 to $8 because shortening costs have gone up. And, the Lions may have two days of pie making to accommodate a growing appetite in the community. While some of the profit is always earmarked for Dog Guides, the rest goes to charities, Diabetes Canada, and the breakfast program in the schools, Featherby says. “We don’t have to think hard about what to do with the money.” Lions Create a Safe Pathway in Their Small Community The people of Alburnett, Iowa—a small town of 700 just north of Cedar Rapids—have a great place to exercise, but getting there was a safety problem. The Martin Sports Complex, with ball fields, a playground, horseshoe pits and a walking trail, is just a fourth of a mile from the edge of town. But to walk there meant walking on the highway, which was especially risky in the evenings when the students wanted to go. But after years of the community talking about it, and three years of Lions working on it, the Alburnett Lions have fixed the problem. With US$20,000 from Lions’ fundraising and donations, and US$20,000 in grants, they built “The Safe Pathway”— an 8-foot wide concrete path that extends a quarter mile from the edge of town to the path that circles the complex. It is both handicap- and bicycle-accessible. Various companies and organizations in the community pitched in with discounted prices and donations, says Lion secretary Roberta Carver. The local electric company installed four light poles at no cost, and the city of Alburnett will pay the bill to keep the area illuminated. "All ages use the facility,” says Carver. “We’re proud of it. The community backed us and we were able to get this project put into motion in a short period of time.” How did a small town club raise the funds for a big project? “We received the majority of donations through a ‘Buy a Yard of Concrete’ fundraiser,” Carver says. “Individual donors could purchase a yard of concrete for US$100.” A Yuletide Tradition Unites International Lions What would winter be without chestnuts roasting on an open fire? The Leavenworth Lions in Washington wouldn’t dare to find out. But they have found that half their chestnut customers don’t know what they’ve been missing. They’ve never tried chestnuts before. The other half know how good a freshly roasted chestnut is with some hot cocoa or hot spiced cider on a snowy winter night. For the Lions in MD 19, District D, selling chestnuts over the holidays is now an international event. Every year Lions from the Kamloops Paddlewheelers Lions in British Columbia make the trip to Leavenworth to assist with the Leavenworth Lions’ annual roasted chestnuts fundraiser. And next year, Leavenworth Lions hope, even more Lions from British Columbia will make the trip. It’s a tradition. The Leavenworth Lions purchase 1,500 pounds of chestnuts from an orchard in Washington and sell them at festivals from a trailer built by Past District Governor Joe Nilles. The first part is the tedious part. All of the chestnuts have to be scored; an X carved in the shell to let steam escape. Twenty-three Lions and friends scored 300 pounds for the local Christkindlmarkt fashioned after a Bavarian Christmas market in Germany. The rest were scored over three get-togethers in the weeks leading up to the Christmas Lighting Festival, says Lion Joyce Stevens. “It’s time consuming and it’s not easy, but it’s worth it.” The roasted chestnuts, started in a convection oven and finished over a barbecue grill, sell in a 10-ounce cup for $3.25 and are very popular, but Lions also sell two-pound bags of non-scored and non-roasted chestnuts for those who want to carry out their own yuletide tradition at home. Sales this winter took in $16,500 with the profit providing vision and hearing help for community members and supporting numerous other Lion projects. Change jars collected $1,300 to send children to diabetes camp. And this year the club plans to replace the picnic shelter in Lions Club Park as their centennial project. Makeover Preserves Art of Blacksmithing The Signal Mountain Lions Club— believed to be the largest in Tennessee with 98 Lions—historically focused on large community barbecues and a variety of short-term projects. But they chose to add something different for a year. They focused on a Lions Legacy project that shares the history of community in the scenic Walden Ridge, outside Chattanooga. The Lions dedicated time, money, and labor to restore the blacksmith shop on the historic McCoy Farm and Gardens to its former grandeur. It is owned by the town of Walden. The shop was beyond repair and Lions decided to raze it and rebuild it on the original site, retaining its original appearance and integrity so it would serve as a working shop for the farm and for reenactments, says Lion Paul Jensen. More than 20 Signal Mountain Lions worked steadily, demolishing the old structure but saving what they could, including the original forge and chimney, old tools, and horseshoes. The McCoy Farm Board of Directors, with help from the Lions, funded the project, but community members stepped up in a variety of ways. One citizen renovated and donated an antique ceiling fan from the early 1900s. Pine trees harvested from Lion Earl Hereford’s yard were processed at a saw mill and donated. The boards were dried on the property, and some were used to complete the interior walls. Members of Choo Choo Forge, a local blacksmith club, provided the Lions with guidance, materials and support, and Lions totaled 37 work days and more than 800 man hours. Charles Adams, a board member for the farm, says the blacksmith shop provided horseshoes, farm implements, shaping of metals during fabrication, wrought iron shapes, and livestock gate hardware in the early 1900s. “Signal Mountain Lions chose this project to permit future demonstration of this lost art for future generations,” says Adams. “The first community demonstration was standing room only.” A piece of Walden Ridge history has been restored, and a plaque on the wall documents years of Lions’ service in the Tennessee community.
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