Lions plan annual community Thanksgiving Dinner

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 12:46
  • Even with the pumpkin-spice craze already in full swing, no one’s going without the Thanksgiving favorite on the big day. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving Day is almost here. We have so much to be grateful for here in Alaska. We live in paradise with our majestic snow-covered mountains and abundance of wildlife.

However, there are still those who experience hunger, struggle to meet their monthly expenses, struggle with mental illness … too many to list. Lions are here to help.

When it comes to meeting challenges, our response is simple: We serve. In more than 200 countries and at 1.4 million Lions strong, we serve in hospitals and senior centers, in regions battered by natural disaster, in schools and eyeglass recycling centers. Lions are doing community volunteer work by helping, leading, planning and supporting their communities in a variety of ways.

Because we’re local, we can serve the unique needs of the communities we live in. Because we are global, we can address challenges that go beyond borders.

We want everyone to see a better tomorrow. That is why we support sight programs and services including vision screenings, eye banks and eyeglass recycling. We provide eye care services to those at risk of losing their sight and raise donations through campaigns like SightFirst and Campaign SightFirst II.

We believe everyone deserves a healthy life. From providing health programs that focus on hearing loss to supporting efforts to control and prevent diabetes, Lion volunteers are working to improve the health of children and adults around the world.

We empower the next generation. Whether it’s providing youth volunteer opportunities and leadership experiences in a Leo Club, or sharing a message of peace through our Peace Poster contest, our youth programs invest in the future by reaching out to young people.

We serve local communities — and protect the planet. From performing hands-on community work and service projects to providing emergency assistance, our community and environment programs improve our communities and protect the environment.

Our volunteer projects unite Lions around the world. Our work is unconditional. We aren’t limited by continents or restricted to certain causes. Lions help wherever, whenever and however we can.

We believe that the world gets better and problems get smaller when people unite to serve their local and global community. Lions help where help is needed — in our own communities and around the world — with unmatched integrity and energy. Since 1917, Lions have strengthened communities through humanitarian projects and hands-on service.

We serve neighbors who live next door and people on the other side of the world that we may never meet.

One of our challenges is to feed the hungry. This year, all four local clubs will be gearing up for our holiday food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Eagle River Lions is working on delivering 50 Christmas food baskets and Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions will be getting their Tree of Giving project out on Black Friday; the Alaska Centennial Veterans will be assisting in all of these projects.

You can join all Lions at the Eagle River Lions Clubhouse for a Thanksgiving spread fit for kings and queens from noon -2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. This event is free to the public, and we expect to serve 200-250 people.

We are looking for assistance the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for food preparation about 6 p.m., then assistance about 10 a.m. Thanksgiving morning for serving. Of course the big help is needed with cleanup from 2-4 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

The feast is open to the public. If you have any questions, please give me a call at 907-242-1129.

If you would like to learn more about being a lion visit www.lionsclubs.org, sleepingladylions.org; or eagleriverlions.com.

Thanks to Chugiak Lions, Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions, Alaska Centennial Veterans and Eagle River Lions for providing the feast.

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