Garden Ridge Lion's Service Activity Report
December, 2018 Activity Report:
Lions Christmas Party: 103 Lions and guests attended this year’s Garden Ridge Lions Christmas Party held at the Garden Ridge Community Center on Wednesday, December 12. The Balladiers Choral Group from the New Braunfels Canyon High School Choir sang Christmas carols for our entertainment. Dottie once again delivered with a fantastic meal. We made a $300 donation to the Canyon High School Choir.
Melvin Jones Fellowship: Lion Larry Steele was awarded one of the highest forms of recognition with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award during the Christmas Dinner December 12, 2018. This award is selected by the club and a donation of $1,000.00 was made to Lions Clubs International Foundation in order to continue the humanitarian work of Lions. Pat Steele, Larry’s wife, was presented a certificate of appreciation and a bouquet of flowers by Nancy Bell.
2018 Garden Ridge Lion’s Operation Santa Claus: As is our annual tradition, the Garden Ridge Lions Club distributed food baskets and toys this year to needy families in our local community. We start Operation Santa Claus in early November, sending out solicitation letters through our contacts in the local elementary schools, church members, social services and other sources to assist us in identifying deserving families that we may be able to serve during the holiday season. The night before delivery, Lions members, spouses, sons, daughters, and grandchildren help sort the food baskets and toys for the recipient families. The next morning begins the delivery process to the homes of the needy. This year we selected 51 families consisting of 153 children. We spent $2,736 on food, at an average cost of a little under $54 per family; a great bang for our buck. We also teamed up with Elf Louise again, a local charity who provides thousands of free toys to children annually throughout the San Antonio community. Elf Louise provided us with free toys for most of the children on our list. In addition, the Garden Ridge Women’s Club also donated toys, allowing us to provide gifts to the remaining children on our list. Between Elf Louise and the Women’s Club, we were able to provide two toys each to all 153 children. There were heartwarming stories of some of the hardships seen by our members and also heartfelt thanks they and our Club received for the food and gifts by the recipient families and children. It was well worth our time and effort; 1st Vice President Bill Swint, Operation Santa Claus Chairman and Mandy Hagy, Co-Chair.
A note from President Mark Dubois:. What a team effort for them as they gathered family names for delivery, ordered toys for each child, ordered food for the food baskets, mapped out the routes for delivery to the families, and organized delivery of the toys and food to the Community Center and then out to the families. What an amazing team effort! Thank you all very much.
Victoria Speakmon, daughter of Lion Dave and Lori Speakmon, initiated a hygiene drive in support of the children of the 50 families on our Lions Operation Santa Claus list; over two-hundred children will each receive two toys/gifts and a hygiene kit for Christmas, along with a generous food basket for the family. Victoria raised the money, ordered the needed hygiene supplies and built the kits specifically geared to the sex and age of each child. The kits consisted of soap, toothpaste, deodorant, fragrances, etc., and was individually wrapped in a net Christmas stocking. Victoria has assisted in our Lions Operation Santa Claus for many years, starting when she was a young child. She truly has the giving spirit.
Hearing Testing: The Middle School hearing testing took place in December; testing was conducted at Oak Run and New Braunfels Middle Schools. Over 700 students at the two schools were tested.