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Lions' motto, 'We serve,' extends to all

The Ashland Lions Club is marking its 10th year of selling ice cream at the Ashland City Band concerts in Lithia Park by donating the proceeds to Ashland High and Middle school music programs this month and next. Though smoky skies reduced sales last summer, the program has raised $30,271 total for the school bands so far.

It's just one of many ways the Ashland Lions Club has been serving the community since it was founded in 1938. Volunteers raise money for the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation in Portland and the Southern Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Center in Medford. Our fundraising also supports Ashland Community Hospital Foundation, scholarships for Ashland High School graduates, Dogs for the Deaf, Habitat for Humanity, Ashland Parks Foundation and more.

One hundred percent of the profits from Lions’ fundraisers go to the projects and activities the Lions support. The Lions do many service projects in the community, such as assisting with vision screening in Ashland grade schools, rebuilding picnic tables and benches in Lithia Park, building handicapped ramps, helping the Boy Scouts with their annual Christmas tree recycling program and Ashland parks cleanup.

Here are a few other programs supported by the Lions:

Ashland Homeless Shelter. The Ashland homeless shelter was originally a church-based program publicly spearheaded by John Wieczorek of the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The Ashland Lions presented John with a Citizen of the Year award in 2014 for his work. The shelters operated out of multiple churches and Pioneer Hall starting with only a couple of nights per week.

Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland. OHRA received a grant in 2018 allowing rental of the old Rogue Valley Church on East Main Street, which is set to provide shelter seven nights a week. The church sat vacant for many years and required repairs and safety upgrades prior to use as a shelter.

During December 2018 and January 2019, work parties of Lions members replaced and repaired exterior doors, repaired sheet rock in the electric utility closet, installed smoke detectors and removed shrubbery by windows to improve emergency exiting access. We have plans to construct a safe, exterior smoking area and have been asked to help with relocation and enclosure of a water storage tank which will be used for the future showers.

The Lions motto of “We Serve” applies to all members of our community, as demonstrated by this and other Ashland Lions projects.

Boys Scouts Christmas Tree Recycling Program. Scouts and Lions thank the community for supporting this program. Christmas tree recycling is conducted every January by Boy Scout Troop 112. Lions support the Scouts by providing manpower and vehicles to transport the trees for recycling. The city provides a chipper that converts the trees into landscaping material. The material is used for trail coverage and general landscaping by the Ashland Parks Department. On Jan. 5, the Scouts and Lions gathered up 885 trees.

Each Scout who participates gets half of his or her summer camp fee waived. The troop puts the remainder of residents’ donations into a High Adventure fund, which helps Scouts pay for High Adventure trips, such as their backpacking trip at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico, in 2017. (Photos can be seen at http://troop112.net/philmont-high-adventure-2017/). The goal is to make it possible for each Scout to go on one High Adventure.

Join the Lions and serve your community. Call the Ashland Lions Club at 541-324-1515, or visit www.ashlandoregonlions.org or https://www.facebook.com/Ashland-Oregon-Lions to find information on the club and an online membership application.

Prospective members are welcome at the Lions Club meetings at 6 p.m. every second and fourth Tuesday at La Casa Del Pueblo, 1209 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, except in July and August when there are no meetings. You don’t have to be a Lion to volunteer; just a believer in serving your community.

Lions Club International, formed in 1917, is the world’s largest organization of service clubs, with more than 1.4 million members in 47,000 clubs across more than 200-plus countries.

The Ashland Lions expanded upon their long history BBQ in the Rogue Valley when they acquired a gas powered, portable BBQ in 2014. They are now offering their BBQ expertise for private events. Visit www.ashlandoregonlions.org for information. Lions Jerry Gomez, Dick Welton and Pete Jorgensen BBQ for Peace House & Uncle Food’s Diner fund raiser. Photo Gary Endicott.