MANSFIELD — The Lions Club here is celebrating its 80th year of providing service to the community and residents.
The Mansfield Lions Club currently has 46 members, President Deb Colgrove said, and that number remains pretty consistent. The club has recently added some younger members; Colegrove hopes the club is able to continue growing and remain strong.
“It’s harder and harder to get the youth to participate in anything because their lives are so much busier,” Colegrove said.
Of its members, the club has about 10 members who have received the Melvin Jones award, the highest award given to members for service and giving back, named for the founder of the Lions Club.
The Lions Club is a service organization that has several projects around the community. Originally, vision was the Lions Club main service; the Mansfield Lions Club purchased a vision screening device for the Southern Tioga School District with the help of the Pennsylvania Lions Foundation.
This helps the district screen student’s vision from kindergarten through 12th grade and can detect farsightedness, nearsightedness and lazy eyes. It’s also used at New Covenant Academy.
Since then, the Lions Club has expanded to diabetes, environment, hunger and childhood cancer. Colegrove said it is now beginning to expand into hearing.
Typically, the Lions Club hosts a free concert of a major group every year, but was canceled this year due to the coronavirus. Taylor Acorn, an up and coming country singer, was originally scheduled to perform on July 4.
To make this possible, the club spends time fundraising throughout the year, such as hosting chicken barbecues. The biggest fundraiser that the club does is a golf tournament each summer. All of the money raised goes to a nonprofit organization; in the past, they’ve supported the shoe bank, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little Leagues and the Special Olympics, among others.
About four times a year, the club will spend a day picking up litter along Route 15 to help keep the area looking nice.
Every month, some members go to the food pantry early in the morning and help the volunteers there unload the delivery from Williamsport, which often consists of heavy boxes.
To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the Mansfield Lions Club plans to host a chamber mixer to talk about the organization and the work it does. There will also be a banquet at the Mansfield Fire Hall on Oct. 3.
Looking forward, Colegrove said she hopes to see the club continue to grow with new members, as some clubs in the district have folded. Colegrove said if the Mansfield Lions Club ceased to exist, the community would definitely notice what it is missing.
“We’re a quiet club, so a lot of people don’t even realize what we do,” Colegrove said.