The Blaine Central Lions Club is celebrating 10 years of community service Sept. 11 with a public event at Club West in Blaine.
The club was founded on Sept. 11, 2009, in Blaine. It was formed by Wayne Johnson of the Andover Lions Club and Judy Herrala of the Nowthen Lions Club. Their goal was to bring a Lions Club back to Blaine after the Blaine Lions Club disbanded, according to Blaine Central Lions Club Third Vice-President Terry Wold. The club started with 22 members and now has 16.
Blaine Central Lions Club President Bob Meyer said the mission of the club is to, “create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs by providing voluntary services through community involvement and international cooperation.”
Wold said he joined the Blaine Central Lions Club because he wanted to serve the community.
“I feel that when I’m doing a Lions Club project I’m getting as much out of it as the people we serve,” he said. “It’s so rewarding to see how our work impacts the community.”
The club has done a number of service projects in the community including helping with maintenance at Fort Lions Park and Pine Grove Gardens in Blaine; doing weekly food drives across Anoka County; serving at Feed My Starving Children; serving, supporting and fundraising for children’s cancer charities, the Special Olympics, Can Do Canines, community events, school scholarships and the Miracle League of Blaine; and recycling eyeglasses for distribution in developing countries.
“We’re here to serve the community,” Meyer said.
Unlike other Lions clubs, the Blaine Central Lions Club doesn’t raise funds through charitable gaming, Wold said. It mainly collects donations through gifts, hosting events such as pancake breakfasts and dinners, selling Minnesota State Fair tickets and providing shuttle drivers for events like the Blaine Festival.
“We have a small budget, but we use it to serve the community as much as possible,” he said. “We are a very service-oriented club.”
“One-hundred percent of everything we raise goes back to serving the community,” Blaine Central Lions Club Membership Chair Tom Waldren added.
The club often teams up with other Anoka County Lions clubs for service projects and events.
Blaine Central Lions members meet the first and third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Hope Church, 1264 109th Ave. NE, Blaine. Membership is open to all, and the club is currently seeking new members.
“Anyone who is looking for opportunities to serve the community, this is the place to do it,” Meyer said.
The Blaine Central Lions Club 10th anniversary celebration will be Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Club West, 1121 Club West Parkway, Blaine.
The event, which is open to the public, includes a social time at 6 p.m. and a dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m. Dinner is $25.