The Naperville Noon Lions, the all-volunteer group that meets for lunch on Tuesday the first four weeks of every month at Braconi’s, just wrapped up its 24th year of selling funnel cakes at the Exchange Club of Naperville Ribfest. Their Ribfest Funnel Cakes Booth kicks off the first of four fundraising events managed during a five-month season that culminates with the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.
The main purpose of their fundraising initiatives is to help local children and adults get the vision and hearing care they cannot afford. They achieve their goals by working with school nurses in Districts 203 and 204, and local social services agencies to serve individuals “within nine miles of Braconi’s,” another way of emphasizing they make a difference locally.
On July 10, Lion Donna Kearney led her first meeting as the club’s new president, following immediate past president Ken Strugalla, who now is in charge of publicity. PN was happy to attend. And Strugalla was happy to mention that one-third of the club’s membership are women.
One of Kearney’s first official acts included announcing the presentation of the Lions Club highest honor, a Melvin Jones Fellow, given to 10-year member Bob Hull. Melvin Jones founded Lions Clubs International in 1917. Naperville’s Noon Lions Club was chartered in 1948.
Reflecting on results of 2012 Ribfest Funnel Cakes, Steve Hertzberg, who has been in charge of the Funnel Cake operation for the last 18 years, described one of the high notes to be a young volunteer, Haley Glaromovits, who had had the idea to “Flip for Tips” while ZZ Top performed on the Navistar Main Stage on July 1. By the end of the evening, thanks to the high school gymnast, $73 had landed in the tip jar to support the good works of the Naperville Noon Lions Foundation, a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization.
Barely skipping a beat, members of Noon Lions now are selling tickets for its 2012 Annual Summer Raffle to be held at 1:30PM Mon., Sept. 3, at the Jaycees Last Fling four-day family festival. The Grand Prize is $5,000. Other Prizes include cash draws of $2,500, $1,000, two at $500 and five at $100.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at various price levels: one for $10, three for $25, 7 for $50 and 15 for $100.
Only 6,000 tickets were printed for sale in the raffle and all prizes will be awarded on Sept. 3. Winners need not be present at Last Fling to win.
For more information or to buy a ticket(s), call (630) 364-3922 or e-mail the Noon Lions Club at email@example.com.
According to Lion Jim Ebers, the Noon Lions Club will join clubs around the state in O ctober for the annual Candy Days, a fundraiser also to support the services and programs provided to the hearing and visually impaired in Illinois. Members will sell mints and fruit-flavored candies on Fri., Oct. 12, and Sat., Oct. 13. Watch for them around town.
And since the day after Thanksgiving for the last 15 years, the Noon Lions Club has spent a year getting set for its annual Turkey Trot held at 8AM on Thanksgiving Day. For information about the 2012 run on Nov. 22, visit Turkey Trot Registration. According to Turkey Trot Race Director Bill McManis, individuals already are registering. For the last couple of years, the race that’s limited to 7,500 participants has filled up early in November.
Club Treasurer Bill Bleecker noted the Noon Lions Club currently has 48 members, of which 30 regularly attend luncheons. He said they’ve almost outgrown their meeting room. In fact, at least two individuals at the recent luncheon expressed interest in becoming members. This past year, their successful fundraising allowed them to give $205,000 to worthy causes, including assisting 303 individuals in the nearby community with sight and hearing needs.
In addition to volunteering their time, this past year the mighty club also lent support and/or provided grants for Beep Baseball, Camp Lions for the Blind, Deike Center, Diabetic testing strips for in-school testing of diabetic students at School Districts 203 & 204, Easter Seals of DuPage (Naperville), Little Friends, YMCA Before- and After-School Safe ‘n Sound Child Care Program in School District 203 and dozens of other local charitable causes that benefit all ages.
Did you know? The Lions Club Mission is simply expressed in their Motto “We Serve.” The Naperville club is comprised of local men and women who wish to make a difference in the local community. This year’s Board of Directors is led by President Donna Kearney. Other executive board members are Immediate Past Pres Ken Strugalla, 1st Vice President Gary Vician, 2nd Vice President Jim Ebers, Treasurer Bill Bleecker and Secretary Jane Bowers. Directors are Gary Peterson, Maria Wilson and Rick Butz.
Membership is open to interested individuals who can attend regular Tuesday meetings. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.napervillenoonlions.org.
Team photo courtesy Steve Hertzberg