Community service is the top priority for members of the Granite Falls Lions Club, which was evident at their annual officer installation dinner last Thursday night.
“Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. That's because we help where help is needed – in our own communities and around the world – with unmatched integrity and energy,” Lions Club International says on their website.
The 21 members of the Granite Falls Lions fill their year with fundraisers including a Christmas tree lot, fireworks booth and taking their turn at the Lions Club Corn booth at the Evergreen State Fair, just to name a few.
They spend countless hours fundraising so that they are able to help members within their community like Jim Pesta, a Granite Falls resident who was given bilateral cataract surgery because of the generous donation from the Granite Falls Lions.
Pesta, who was unable to drive or read because of cataracts in both eyes, was unable to afford the surgery needed to fix his vision. After a referral from America’s Best Eyeglasses in Lynnwood, the Granite Falls Lions stepped in and paid for the surgeries.
“They stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun.” Pesta said. “It changed my life.”
The Lions also give several scholarships each year, help out the Granite Falls Food Bank on several levels and provide glasses to those who may not otherwise get them.
While helping and serving in their community is the mission of Lions Club International, Granite Falls’ Club is unique in comparison to other clubs in Western Washington because of the small and close-knit community in which they live.
“Granite Falls has the ability to let the community see what they are doing because they are a small community,” Jim Knight, past Council Chairman said.
New officers were installed at this year’s dinner, including Larry Rott being put in as President for the sixth time in the last 17 years. Other officers include First VP Rob Salsgiber, Second VP Rhonda Nichols, Secretary Dixie Riggle and Treasurer Charles Curtis.
Rott expressed his gratitude to all those who are devoted members of the Lions Club in Granite Falls.
“They are all devoted to the city,” he said. “I really appreciate all that they do.”
Rott, along with George Wilburn and Doug Cool were each awarded the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, which is the highest honor a Lions Club member can receive.
This award is given to outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an award that is named for the Lions Club founder, Melvin Jones.
“This award is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism. The recipient of this award becomes a model because of the exemplary service to his club and the community for which it serves,” Lions Club International says.
Other awards given that evening include
If you would like to join the Granite Falls Lions Club please contact Larry Rott at 425-334-5516.