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Valley Lions Club holds Christmas dinner program

VALLEY — The Valley Lions Club had a Christmas dinner program Monday evening in the activity room at Sylvia Word Manor. The event was catered by A Little Taste of Home in Opelika.

After the meal, Club President Phillip Sparks thanked fellow members for their help in having had a good year of community service despite the pain and loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a challenging time,” he said, “but I think we had a good year. I think we have done a lot of good for the community.”

The Lions Club organization began in 1917 in Chicago, Illinois. Lions International is today in more than 200 countries. There are an estimated 1.4 million members in 46,000 local clubs.

The first club was founded by Melvin Jones in 1917 and has the motto “We Serve.”

Lions are famous for their work in sight preservation. This began at the club’s national convention in 1925 when Helen Keller urged them to the “knights for the blind.”

“We made a donation this year to Alabama Sight in Birmingham,” Sparks said.

The club also helps individuals who can’t afford eye exams or eyeglasses.

The Valley Lions Club was very helpful to Chambers County first responders this past year. They brought lunch one day to the dispatchers at the Chambers County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) office in Huguley and had a hamburger cookout for sheriff’s office deputies. The Lions helped the sheriff’s office acquire a sanitizing machine for the patrol cars. This helps protect officers from Covid-19. The state chapter got 10 such machines for sheriff’s offices in the state. Chambers, Lee and Tallapoosa were among the counties receiving them.

“I want to thank our members for having had a good year of fundraising,” Sparks said. “We decided not to have a chickencue because of COVID, but our members did great work in selling 25 cases of pecans and lots of mops and brooms. We completely sold out and raised money for our worthy causes. We have had a very active year despite the problems we have had with the pandemic. We encourage everyone to keep staying safe until we get over it.”