I know you have all heard about the Visalia Pride Lions Club, our local service organization comprised of LGBT and supportive community members. You might be asking yourselves what exactly they do. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you some of the amazing things they have accomplished this past year.
The VPLC has cultivated and maintained a working relationship with The Trevor Project. They have volunteered at Trevor events and even boast 4 members who are also Trevor Lifeguard Facilitators.
They, in part, sponsored the Lavender Prom by providing food and support with a cash donation. For those who may not be familiar with this event, it’s an LGBT+ dance for youth held in Fresno.
The Lion’s have also supported area GSA’s by creating a library of LGBT youth books for them to keep within their clubs. Many of the books distributed were made possible by cash donations from the individual members.
The group donated funds for the lion statue that resides at the new Lions Park. It was there, on Earth Day, that they aided in planting the first tree. This park provides a great place for children and families to visit. It boasts some very unique play structures as well as a small skate park area.
On a national level, the VPLC’s members reached into their own pockets and raised money for the following: The victims of Haiti, the San Bruno gas explosion and the earthquakes of Japan. Locally, they have helped collect items for the Gay Visalia Holiday Toy Drive two years in a row (for which I am tremendously grateful).
Lastly, we cannot forget the Valentine’s Dinner & Dance they hosted. This event was attended by almost 200 people! It was a lovely event and one which will be repeated in March as a spring fling so to speak. Not sure about you, but I cannot wait for that.
I would personally like to thank the Visalia Pride Lions Club for all that they have done for our community and the communities at large. Not only are they allowing others to see that it is ok to be gay and active in the world, they are also allowing the world to see that we are just as caring and giving as anybody else.
I could not write this article without giving special recognition to Sandy O’Neill-Waymack for being presented with the Lion of the Year Award. Congratulations on your achievement. I know you have set the bar high for all those to follow. Your hard work clearly did not go unnoticed.
Now that you all know what Lions do….join us! So many times I get people asking how to get more involved in our community; this club would be a great start. I am recently a proud new member of this wonderful organization. I was actually officially “pinned” by the Lion of the Year…. and Cheryl didn’t even care (giggling). I’d love for you to stand beside me in serving our community, just ask me how!
So, my fellow Lions, thank you for an outstanding past year. May our club continue to grow and the upcoming year prove to be just as successful! Rrrrroar