Sussex Lions donate more than $20,000 to community
The Sussex Lions Club carried on its annual tradition of food, fellowship and goodwill during the club's Christmas dinner at the Boneyard Pub and Grille on Saturday. Lions President Jeff Carlson was on hand to award more than $20,000 to area organizations.
"The great thing about the Sussex Lions Club is that every cent we raise goes right back to the community," said Lions member and organizer of the annual dinner, Ralph Modjeska.
Throughout the year, Carlson said the club raises the money it donates through popular events such as Lions Daze, the Piston and Rod Show, raffles and a golf outing. The annual events the Lions host in the community are crucial, he said, to help the club continue to provide the community support it does.
All told, the club handed out $21,525 to community betterment. Recipients include two organizations dedicated to the Lions International mission to aid the blind and visually impaired. According to the club's website, www.sussexlions.org, Helen Keller challenged the Lions Club to be "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness."
The Sussex Lions donated $1,000 to Vision Forward of Milwaukee a leading resource in the area for the blind or visually impaired. "Thank you to the Lions for their mission; now many children and parents are thrilled they have a place to go," recipient Kathy Zeit said of services offered at the Vision Forward center.
The club also donated $500 to the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons. Joan Schneider said the center is working with people of all ages to help them function with both disabilities, including a 102-year-old who is learning Braille.
The Lions motto "We Serve," was also represented Saturday not only in its support of the visually impaired, but in the club's outreach to the community. The club donated $5,880 to Lisbon Parks for park upkeep and improvements.
"It's huge what the Lions Club does for local kids and organizations. We couldn't put on the functions and provide the kids a safe place to go without this and we thank you for that," said John Grieten, Lisbon Parks superintendent.
The Village of Sussex received $1,300 for the senior bus program and $400 for senior bingo. "From a village standpoint, we can't explain how important it is for the Lions to be in Sussex. We can't say thank you enough," said Village President Greg Goetz.
The Hamilton School District was awarded $500 for the Hamilton Education Foundation, $500 for Boys and Girls State, $5,000 for scholarships, and $6,445 for the Hamilton High School press box. In 2009, the club committed $55,000 for construction of the 500-square-foot press box.
Sussex Lion Jim Long receiving the School District's funds on behalf of Superintendant Kathleen Cooke, who said she conveys her deep appreciation to the Lions and acknowledges the many hours of community service logged to realize the funds.
"It's a great partnership, and it will continue. We do good things for great people," Long said of his club's work in the community.
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