By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The Crestline Lions Club is always trying to assist the mountain communities. Even with winter weather, they intend to do something positive for the community every month. They want the community to know they are here to help.
Just before the big storm, they installed on the “Welcome to Crestline” billboard in Top Town a new Lions Club sign for the club, which was chartered last year. First Lion Derrick removed the old Lions Club sign, still there from the Lions Club that had been chartered in 1939. The sign had been up so long it had faded to white. Derrick then took down the Lioness Club sign, which had been on the welcome sign since 1978. Lions International has shuttered all Lioness clubs world-wide and encouraged those members to transition and become Lions Clubs.
The Crestline Lioness Club took that challenge to become a Lions Club, one of the few Lioness Clubs in this district to do so. Since they have chartered as a Lions Club, the new Crestline Lions Club has garnered many awards and commendations for their community service. Most recently they were praised for adopting a fire hydrant, promising to keep it clear, just before the massive snowstorm. They encourage others who have a fire hydrant near their homes to adopt theirs, too, keeping it cleared of snow and other debris, so, if needed, it is readily available for the firefighters.
On hand to see the sign transition was Catherine Johnson, who had been the first female club president of the former Lions Club and was the charter club president for the new Lions Club. The Lions were helped by Lion Derrick Hill, owner of Derrick Hill’s Tree Service, and his crane.
After Hill had removed the Lioness sign, he asked Past President Johnson if she should use the same washers and screws from the Lioness Club sign to install the new Lions sign as a symbol of the continuity of service. All who were assisting agreed that symbolism was strong.
The new Lions sign is bright and shiny. The club was proud to have their new sign on hand for this storm as so many have come to the mountains, many for the first time to help the community, as the Lions also enjoy doing.
After the big blizzard ended, Lion Courtney Hebert was out in her truck responding to calls for assistance for food deliveries, since Goodwin’s Market and Jensen’s Foods, where she worked, were both closed due to roof failures. The Crestline Lions Club immediately applied for a grant from Lions International for disaster assistance to pay for groceries for those who couldn’t afford them and for gasoline to deliver to those who are shut in and unable to get out of their homes. Several members dug out many walkways and driveways and vehicles for those who were stuck in their homes, especially those disabled or older and unable to rescue themselves. This was done immediately before some of the county roads were plowed and before other programs were able to jump into action.
The other Lions Clubs in the district held a food drive, similar to the one the Crestline Lions Club held just a couple weeks ago on Feb. 18, at Goodwin’s Market. In fact, they used the same food suggestion list the Crestline club had used and the down-the-hill clubs collected food to bring to Crestline for distribution. This food program was arranged to occur even before the roof collapsed on Goodwin’s Market. However, the food had to wait and was delivered after Highway 18 had reopened from its two-week closure. By then Goodwin’s was closed and the need was even more severe.
Lion Catherine Johnson said, “It’s the right thing to do. So many are stranded by the non-plowed roads and buried vehicles and are in severe need right now. We needed to do something, so we did.”
The Crestline Lions Club meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at Leisure Shores Community Center for a pot luck or catered dinner on the shore of the east end of Lake Gregory. If you are interested in being involved in an active community and international service club, attend one of their meetings and see the motivation and programs they support, such as eye health and vision support, education and other local nonprofit organizations. Call Lions Club President Libby Hayes at (909) 338-7124 or email her at [email protected] for more information and directions.
Crestline Lions Club President Libby Hayes and Lion Dann Lahr hold the new Lions Club sign installed on the “Welcome to Crestline” billboard on Highway 138, installed just before the blizzard, late last month. (Contributed photo)