Tonganoxie Lions Club building on 1st 5 years
That is the motto of Lions Clubs International, the largest service organization in the world.
Tonganoxie Lions Club is an active part of that service organization. TLC became a full-fledged organization with 20 charter members on July 10, 2017. As part of District K-17A – one of three Lions districts in Kansas – TLC currently meets once a month at Tonganoxie United Methodist Church.
The initial five years of the Tonganoxie club have been filled with activities meant to serve its community. Among these are providing vision screenings for all USD 464 public schools and making sandwiches weekly for Chieftain Cafe, an after-school program at Tonganoxie Public Library. In summer months, they have provided fresh vegetables for free to anyone, in conjunction with Leavenworth Lions and the Federal Penitentiary Garden project.
Through the Leighty grant program, Tonganoxie Lions have provided eye exams and glasses for three youth, with assistance from local optometrists, Drs. Richard Dean and Katelyn Volk.
The club has participated in community events such as Spooktacular and the Christmas Tree Lighting. They have recycled plastic bags for the past two years that are then turned into park benches. Two of these benches have gone to the Tonganoxie Rec Commission for use in Chieftain Park, with the newest bench now in use at Tonganoxie Middle School.
TMS Art Club participants are given opportunity for recognition through the Lions Peace Poster competition. Each fall, students can submit a poster for a competition that reflects a selected theme relating to international peace. In recent years, several local students’ submissions have earned second- and third-place state honors.
Other Tonganoxie Lions projects are recycling used eyeglasses, collecting pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House and most recently, saving plastic bread wrapper tabs that will eventually become wheelchairs.
The Tonganoxie Lions Club also has sponsored local youths’ stays at weeklong summer diabetes camp.
Finally, the club supports the Kansas Lions Band program, a week-long music camp held on a designated Kansas university campus for selected high school students.
Concluding days of hours-long rehearsals, these students present a jazz and sectionals program, followed the final morning of the camp with a full band concert for attendees of the annual Lions State Convention, including family and friends.
Local Lions consult with USD 464 band instructor Charles Van Middlesworth each year to secure a student to attend the camp at no cost to the student.
With fundraising an ongoing need for any service organization such as TLC, members rely heavily on selling Georgia-grown nut products, beginning in mid- to late-November through January each year. Those products are available from any club member, or may be purchased at Good Shepherd Thrift Store or Studio 800.
Tonganoxie Lions strive to serve the community in any way they can. They are always seeking additional new members with a passion for service.
Anyone interested in learning more can contact members Ron Nichols at 785-640-3212 or Margy Sundstrom at 940-390-7430.