The Vermilion Lions consists of many hardworking men and women who work all year long to raise funds to support local services, people, and causes. Looking back at 2017, the club was able to support a host of programs and projects totaling almost $20,000. The club is now planning fundraisers and activities for 2018 to keep up their support of the community and beyond.
Looking back this is how they raise their funds for others. At each first meeting of the month money is collected from members by chairman Dan Dean to give to the local food pantry. In 2017, donations were $1,103. During the months of September through May the Lions sponsor a “Student of the Month” and these students receive a check and from those students, two scholarships are given. From September through May, the Lions and The Leos from Vermilion High School help residents with Bingo at Kingston and Mill Manor. The Vermilion Lions sponsor the Leo Club for youth from grades 8-12. Leos help with the festivals, decorate the gazebo, ring the bell for the Salvation Army, pack food for Operation Christmas Joy, collect used glasses and hearing aids, and have a Cookies and Crafts evening at the high school. Mike Palm is the Leo advisor.
The Lions are well known for their perch sandwiches and homemade french fries which they sell at the Fish and Woollybear. At home football games their french fries profits are split with the Vermilion Athletic Boosters for $2,000 in 2017. The french fries sale at the annual Vermilion Band Festival is split with the Vermilion Band Boosters for $1,000 last year. Lions also help out at Grace’s Kitchen and the Salvation Army. For Sweetest Day roses and Brummers Candy is sold and during Christmas Poinsettia plants. All those proceeds are returned to the community. Used glasses and hearing aids are collected all year and chairman Joe McDonald takes care of collecting aluminum cans and ink cartridges as well as tabs from cans donated to the Rainbow Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald House. In December the Lions serve hot chocolate to Light Up Vermilion. They ring the bell for Salvation Army and unload, pack, and deliver food and gifts for Operation Christmas Joy.
By doing all these fundraisers throughout the year they are able to donate to many community organizations, nearly $20,000 in 2017. Some of the recipients are: Vermilion Food Pantry, Salvation Army, YMCA, booster groups, Prom to Dawn, Safety Town, Lucy Idol, Vermilion Rec, Youth Football, Scouts, Vermilion in Bloom, Mini Bus, festival fireworks, Speech and Debate, police department, eye research, Ohio Lions Foundation, Diabetes, Camp Echoing Hills, Pilot Dogs Building Project, Lorain County Lifesaver, and Ohio Lions Philanthropic Fund, and Vermilion Lions Foundation.
Looking ahead to 2018, on Monday, March 19, the Lions will help the American Red Cross Blood Drive at Ritter Library from 1-6 p.m. and again on September 24. On Saturday, April 7, the Lions Annual Reverse Raffle will take place at German’s Villa, and in May the club will have a three-digit raffle which goes along with the daily Ohio Lottery. Pride Day will be Saturday, May 19, with the club supplying doughnuts, coffee, and milk and juice for all the volunteers then they will work on cleanup projects.
Culminating all their activities, the Vermilion Lions Club was proud to present the Melvin Jones Award to Lions Club member Aaron Dunn. Past district governor Jim Jeavons presented Aaron with his plague and pin. Dunn has been past president and presently serves as assistant zone chairman. To receive this distinguished award the Lions International recognizes an individual by bestowing on him an award for its founder, Melvin Jones. This fellowship award is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism. The recipient of this award becomes a model because of the exemplary service of his club and the community for which it serves.
The club meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Anyone interested in joining please notify a club member.