Independence Leo Club Visits Lions Services Helps serve holiday lunch to visually impaired workers

By Michele Dotson  Dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

On December 20, when the rest of their classmates were cracking the books at school and waiting for the end of the day to start their long holiday break, 17 Leo Club members boarded a bus to Lions Services on Tryon Street to help set up and serve the company’s annual Christmas luncheon.

Lions Services provides vocational rehabilitation and employment opportunities to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

The organization, founded in 1935 by the Charlotte Central Lions Club, provided employment for the blind. Initially, the goal was to employ WWI veterans to re-cane chairs.

In 1975, the company was incorporated as a nonprofit textile manufacturer with the purpose of providing vocational rehabilitation for people who are blind and became known as Lions Services, Inc.  Continue reading

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Fall fest fun for the community at Independence High School

The Leo Club is ready for their first customer for their game called "Where's Leo?"

The Leo Club is ready for their first customer for their game called “Where’s Leo?”

The Independence High School Student Council, better known as STUCO, held its annual fall fest on Saturday, October 26 from 5:30-8:00 pm at the school.

Due to current construction, “Trunk or Treat” was held in the back parking lot and was sponsored this year by the math department.

Thriller dance lessons were available in the cafeteria for $1.

All kid games were in the mall area inside the school and were sponsored by student clubs and organizations.

The Leo Club, the student community service organization sponsored by the Mint Hill Lions, Created a game, “Where’s Leo?” A stuffed lion was hidden under one of several Halloween themed cups and then the cups were then shuffled. The object of the game was to identify which cup the lion was under. Continue reading

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Madness brings out crowd

The parade, concerts, food, and rides are packed away, and downtown Mint Hill is back to normal, but last weekend, Madness was in full swing, flooding the streets with parade floats, vendors, food, and patrons.

This year’s Madness saw a notable increase in attendance, with record numbers for the Lions Club 5k run and an especially long parade.

“We had a real good event this year, it seemed like there was more thorough planning,” said Bob Lucas, member of the Camber of Commerce Board of Directors. “Certainly the people that visited expressed their appreciation for everything that went on, our vendors developed a lot of contacts in the community, and fireworks came off without a hitch.”

The chamber won’t know their monetary return on the event for a few weeks, when invoices are reported and the Chamber can evaluate the money generated, but so far, reviews from people involved have been positive.

“I was talking to some of my partners in the chamber and we have heard nothing but good reviews—our ride partner had a terrific event, our food vendors had a terrific event,” Lucas said.

Saturday morning, the parade made it all the way through the mile-long route rain-free and with more marchers than usual.

“It’s the first time that anybody can remember there were that many people lined on the street on either side of 51,” Ferretti said. “I think it’s the most we’ve had out there.”

Lucas also noted this year’s larger parade.

“It was really interesting to stand out on Hwy. 51 and look from the intersection of Lawyers Road and look both ways and see the parade lined up as far as you can see,” said Lucas.

Prior to the parade, the Lions Club 5k race drew plenty of attention on its own, with record number of runners.

“The Lions’ 5k race, they were over the top,” Ferretti said. “There was something like 369 registered runners for the race, the most that we’ve ever had.”

The only problem this year was a short rain shower that lasted about an hour, which hardly put a dent in the festivities.

“The only thing is we had that little shower in the middle of the afternoon, but that was out of our control,” Lucas said, “But seemed like everyone hung in there with us and once we looked off to the west, we were able to see some blue sky and wound up, we had a terrific evening.”

Looking to 2013, the Chamber has to rethink the general layout of the event, because the old town hall will be converted to the police station, presenting a

new set of logistical challenges.

“The Chamber’s going to sit down with the mayor and the chief of police and the fire department and everybody that was involved,” Ferretti said.

That conversation should happen by February or March of 2013, with the main concerns being where to put the events and rides that, next year, won’t be able to be located in the same area.

Overall, the event was considered a huge success by the Chamber, Ferretti and Lucas saying that everyone they spoke to gave positive feedback and showed intentions to be back for 2013.

“I think it was fantastic, actually,” Ferretti said. “I’m getting tons of positive feedback, whether it be email, text, or phone calls, I think that it was great this year.”

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Bi-Lo car show raises $1,300

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The Bi-Lo car show last Saturday was a success, raising 1,300 dollars for the Lions Club.  Vendors donated prizes like grills, coolers, and a tent, which were auctioned off.  The car show was broken up into classes.  Roger Kerns came in first place in the hot rod class with a 1947 Plymouth Club Coupe; Tim Tollo came in second with a 1953 Chevrolet pick-up.  Gene Veese came in first place in the classic class with a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad; Paul Cochrane came in second with a 1968 Chevrolet pick-up.  Ron Stokes won first place in the antique class with a 1936 Buick Special Coupe; Mike Cescon won second with a 1935 Ford Deluxe Tudor Sedan.  Richard Garland won first place in the muscle class with a 1967 Dodge R/T Convertible; Phillip Winston won second with a 1970 Chevrolet Corvette.  C.W. Adcock won first place in the motorcycle class with a 2003 Suzuki motorcycle.  Roger Kerns also won Best of Show.  Mayor Ted Biggers, Chief of Police Tim Ledford, and Action Auto’s Ken Kuehl were the show’s judges.

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Lions Club holds annual yard sale at Bi-Lo

All proceeds from Saturday's yard sale at Bi-Li go to the Lions Club to support their various causes in the Mint Hill community.

(Club will hold a car show Saturday)

Bi-Lo co-manager Tonya Ivey said the yard sale they sponsored in collaboration with the Lions Club last Saturday was successful enough to consider making it a monthly event.  She said the turn out was good, everyone made some money, and when it was over Good Will brought a truck to take donations if people didn’t want to pack up and keep their things.
Yard sale proceeds go to the Lions Club, an organization whose efforts Ivey and others at Bi-Lo respect and appreciate.
“They do a lot of good work in the community,” said Ivey.
This Saturday Bi-Lo and the Lions Club will hold their forth-annual car show in the Bi-Lo parking lot from 2 -5 pm.  The show grows with each year, and 30 to 40 cars are expected to participate.  The Corvette Car Club, Carolina Cruisers, Mint Hill Police, and Mint Hill Fire Department will be present.
Snow cones, pop corn, and lunch plates of chicken breast, baked beans, cole slaw and a roll – only five dollars a plate – will be for sale to help raise money.  Bi-Lo will also provide music. Continue reading

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Lions Club to hold yard sale

The Lions Club and Bi-Lo are hosting a yard sale Saturday, June 2 from 7-11 am.  Parking spaces can be rented at Bi-Lo for $10, and vendors can set up as early as 6 am.
“I’m proud to say that our relationship has been a strong one and they have continued to work tirelessly on our behalf,” said Lions Club president Stephen Smith. The Lions Club has partnered with Bi-Lo on Lawyers Road for the last five years.  He credits much of the success of these events to the hard work of Bi-Lo managers Jennell Smith and Tonya Ivey.
“The Mint Hill Lions are so blessed because of the relationship with Bi-Lo.  It is through their efforts we can give back to the community,” said Lions Club member Rich Ferretti.
The partners work together multiple times a year.  The chicken and dumpling dinner was held in the fall, and the annual car show will be held June 9.
The Lions Club collects funds for various causes throughout the year.  They have provided Christmas presents, clothes, and food to local homeless children, sent 20 special needs children from Independence High School to Camp Thunderbird, and they recently awarded two scholarships to Independence students.
About the yard sale, Smith said “I think it will be a good turn out… Mint Hill is a good community.  If you say that you have a need they step up and help you out.”

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