Story and photo by Shannon McCleve
HYDE PARK- “We serve” is the motto of the Lions Club International. Hyde Park Lions Club takes that motto to heart.
“All but one member was there,” said Mark Hurd, club member and a member of the city council.
Robert Christensen, who has been a member for more than 40 years, said it’s a great way to give back to the community. He and Steve Seamons have been members of the club the longest and have seen many changes to the club over the years.
“My dad was a member of the club before I can remember,” Seamons said. “It’s a great thing to be a part of.”
The club members prepared 600 bags of candy, Seamons said, to make sure all of the children that come get enough.
“The kids get pretty excited here,” he said. “If you get here at 9:03, you’ll probably get left behind.”
Christensen, who is a former District Governor, said when he was in office, there were 4 districts with the Lions Club and each district had around 3500 members. The numbers have been dwindling, he said, with now 20 members of the club in Hyde Park.
The members don’t just live in Hyde Park, though most do. Janet Flinders, club member from Providence, said she can’t believe more people aren’t a part of this organization.
The Lions Club does many things for the community, Seamons said.
“We’ve provided organs for some churches, sprinkler systems for Lee Park,” he said. “If a community member has health issues, we’ve been able to help with medical bills.”
He said they also gather old glasses to send to less fortunate countries for kids who can’t afford them, and even help those around the community that can’t afford eye care.
Flinders said she loves serving and the opportunity this club gives her.
“Besides all that we do, we have a lot of fun too,” she said.
Christensen said the club is just a big service opportunity. He said they raise money to help keep the community alive and well.
“All the money we take in goes right back to the community” he said.
One of Mark Hurd’s favorite activities is the “Ride for the Fallen.” He said they place flags on the side of the road for 300-500 motorcycles to make their way through town.
“Seeing all those bikes go through our community is really cool,” he said.
Seamons said they are always looking for more people to join. They want more members but he said it’s hard to get the word out. They recently created a Facebook page. He said they just want to help the community.
“Our motto is ‘We Serve’ and that’s what we do, we give back to the community,” he said.
If you would like to learn more about the Lions Club, you can go to their website here.