Clarkdale club has heart of a Lion

As Clarkdale grows, one long-time, active member of the Clarkdale Chamber of Commerce hopes to keep pace with the ever-expanding population: The Clarkdale-Jerome Lions Club.

Chartered in 1996, the Clarkdale-Jerome Lions Club is proud to be a part of the world's largest service organization. Founding Charter President David Andrews explains that the Clarkdale club was started, "Because I didn't want to get up so early in the morning to attend the Cottonwood breakfast meetings." The Clarkdale-Jerome Lions meet the first and third Thursday of each month in the Men's Lounge of the Clark Memorial Clubhouse at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome.

Sight conservation has been a major focus of Lion Clubs' activities worldwide. In addition to providing 76 pairs of glasses for locals in need, the Clarkdale-Jerome Lions contribute to efforts to prevent and treat an insidious water born illness in Africa that causes its victims to rapidly go blind.

"There are over 37 million blind people in the world," explains Mr. Andrews. "Eighty percent of those cases are preventable or reversible."

On top of these global efforts, the Clarkdale-Jerome Lions Club works with the Clarkdale-Jerome school in the "Flags for First-Graders" program. Each first-grade student is given an American flag to take home. Club members assist in teaching the Pledge of Allegiance and explain the meaning of the recited words.

Almost no community event in Clarkdale is exempt from the Lions' touch. Members are involved with Concerts in the Park, Halloween, Christmas and Fourth of July celebrations. They donated picnic tables and grills for the park in lower Clarkdale, and contributed to the renovation of the nearby ballpark.

"Anyone who is interested in working in the community is welcome to join us," says Mr. Andrews.

The Clarkdale-Jerome Lions raise funds through an annual rummage sale (May 5-6 this year) located in the Miller Building. Watch for a garage sale at Mr. Andrews' house on First South, as donations are piling up fast. An annual train ride and steak fry, typically scheduled in October, brings Lions from across the state to enjoy the Verde Valley.

One source of funds is, unfortunately, drying up. The Lions maintain collection bins for aluminum cans at recycling points. As curbside recycling becomes more available, people don't want to drive to the collections point.

If you want to help a little, take your aluminum cans to a Lions' bin. And if you have the heart of a Lion, call Mr. Andrews at 634-8207.

Applications for membership can also be picked up at the Clarkdale Chamber Caboose, open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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