Archive for Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Meeting to gauge support for Lions Club in city

September 5, 2007

The Lions Club soon could have a presence in Tonganoxie.

An informational meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Tonganoxie City Council Chambers, 321 Delaware, for any residents interested in starting a Lions Club in Tonganoxie.

According to Neal K. Nichols, district governor of Kansas Lions District 17-K7, there has been some interest for a new club in Leavenworth County, which is Nichols' district.

"We're billing this as an informational meeting, but we have quite a few people who have shown interest," Nichols said.

Other area Lions Club International affiliates are established in Linwood, Basehor, Lansing, Leavenworth and Lawrence, which has three chapters.

Nichols said Leavenworth would be Tonganoxie's sponsoring club if the plan to expand in Tonganoxie comes to fruition.

"It's one of the strongest and largest in the world," Nichols said of Lions Club International. "Certainly the United States and Kansas."

His district includes 13 counties in northeast Kansas:

Nemaha, Brown, Atchison, Doniphan, Leavenworth, Jefferson, Douglas, Johnson, Wyandotte, Miami, Franklin, Osage and Shawnee.

Overall, there are 58 clubs in the district and roughly 1,500 members.

Nichols hopes Tonganoxie will be club No. 59.

To officially become a Lions Club International chapter, an affiliate must have 20 members.

"A goodly amount of interest was expressed by people," Nichols said, referring to business owners and other residents in Tonganoxie. "In fact we had some people fill out registration forms and the entrance fee."

Wanda Barnett and Beverly Nichols, who is Neal's wife, called businesses and the school officials recently to gauge public interest in the club. Neal said the feedback was encouraging.

Lions Club International Foundation is the organization's official charitable arm. Its causes include tackling blindness, hearing loss and responding people in need with regards to natural disasters.

The organization, Nichols said, pitched in with hundreds of thousands of dollars in disaster relief in 2004 for the tsunami that hit southeast Asia.

And, the group has provided relief to victims of the Greensburg tornado, as well as recent floods that recently hit Osawatomie and elsewhere in southeast Kansas.

For more information about the meeting in Tonganoxie, contact Nichols at (913) 642-7520 or

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