Serving the community: Athol Lions kick off new year with World Service Day

  • To celebrate annual World Service Day, members of the Athol Lions Club gathered at Flowerland in Athol Tuesday to collect vases of fresh flowers to personally deliver to residents at the Applewood Home For Elders and Quabbin Valley Healthcare in Athol. Athol Daily News/Deborrah Porter

Published: 10/2/2019 9:45:18 PM
Modified: 10/2/2019 9:45:10 PM

ATHOL — The largest service organization in the world, Lions International, celebrates World Service Day on Oct. 8. Locally, the Athol Lions Club, with roughly 60 members, designates the first Tuesday in October as the day they follow the example of fellow Lions around the world and show their community the spirit of Lionism; Serving. Caring.

Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, Lions International has more than 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries around the world.

On World Service Day, Lions reach out to the people in the community they serve to show they care in a variety of ways. In Athol, traditionally it has been to deliver fresh flowers and spend time visiting with the residents in the Applewood Home for Elders and at Quabbin Valley Healthcare. Lion Raenette Kraemer reported to the Athol Lions Tuesday night that members brought cheer to 27 residents in Applewood and 91 residents at Quabbin Valley healthcare, by delivering flowers and stopping to chat.

Throughout the Lions’ year, which begins in September and ends in June, Athol Lions hold fundraisers including the upcoming Haunted Hayrides, boot drives, craft fairs, variety shows, comedy shows, the River Rat Race, car shows, and many other events where its bright yellow “weenie wagon” teams serve up comfort food, with the money benefitting local charities, eye exams and eyeglasses for those in need.

The money raised by the Lions goes to local charities such as the Athol Area YMCA, Camp Wiyaka, Council On Aging Holiday Dinner, D.A.R.E program, Food-A-Thon, local scholarships, local youth sports teams, Salvation Army (day-long ringing of the bells in December, and a monetary donation from the club).

Funds are also donated to: All State Band, District Sight and Hearing Fund, Foundation Fighting Blindness, 4 Paws for Ability, Lazarus Fund, Massachusetts Association of the Blind, Massachusetts Lions Eye Research, Sightmobile, Worcester Free Clinic, Youth Speech Contest.

To learn more about the Athol Lions, visit their website and Facebook pages.

Their next major fundraiser is the family-friendly Haunted Hayrides event at Silver Lake, set for Oct. 18-19.

The Lions have been approved to hold their annual “boot drive” in the center of town on Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Keep an eye out for the Club mascot - Sir Roars A Lot. They will also observe National White Cane Safety Day, a national holiday established by the President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane.

On Oct. 26, the team founded by Past President Charles Pierson Jr., C3’s Knights for the Blind, will participate in the 12th annual Boston Vision Walk to benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness, at Artesani Park. C3’s Knights for the Blind members have raised more than $12,000 over the last 12 years. Visit to learn more or join C3’s Knights for the Blind. Since its inception in the Spring of 2006, VisionWalk has raised over $53 million to fund sight-saving research.

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