Checotah Lions Club
Members of the Checotah Lions Club will meet at a new time and a new place starting March 14. Club members will begin meeting in March at the Fellowship Hall at the Church of Christ at 309 E. Gentry on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at noon. The club has been meeting on the first and third Thursdays at Charlie’s Chicken. Lions will convene at Charlie’s one more time on Feb. 21.
Lions said the move was necessary so they could have a larger meeting place to accommodate more members and visitors and make it more convenient to present a variety of programs. The change to the second and fourth Thursdays of the month was necessary so club meetings would not conflict with a ladies’ group that meets at the church on the first and third Thursdays. The Lions expressed their appreciation to the management and employees of Charlie’s Chicken for the fine service they have provided.
Lion Mitch Foreman has volunteered to plan, prepare and cook the meals at the Church of Christ location. Several Lion members have volunteered to help Foreman with the meal preparation and clean-up.
Lions International was founded by Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessman in 1917. In 1925 at the International Convention, Helen Keller inspired the Lions to assist vision impaired persons throughout the world and become “Knights of the Blind.” Lions accepted that challenge and began helping people with vision problems throughout the world. Lions International has grown to be the largest service organization in the world with 45,500 clubs and over 1.3 million members in 205 countries around the world.
The Checotah Lions Club was chartered on Nov. 18, 1921. Lions Club officers for 2013 are Dr. B. K. Glover, president; Dr. Mick Meador, first vice-president; George Wilson, second vice-president; Yvette Hatridge, secretary; Robert Jennings, treasurer; Mitch Foreman, tailtwister; and A. D. Stone, Lion Tamer. Board members include Jim Mayes, Joe Butenschoen and Mark Calavan.
Although the Checotah Lions make a variety of charitable donations to the community, it has followed the international organization’s pattern by concentrating on helping vision impaired people in the area. The local club helps a number of people each year pay for eye exams and purchase eyeglasses. The club also makes donations to the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute and the Lions Eye Bank. Other charitable projects the club does is to provide scholarships to Checotah High School seniors and helps to support the Lions Boys Ranch in Perkins.
The Angel Tree project also is a significant local project. School counselors identify “angels” in need for the Lions and angel cut-outs representing each needy child are placed on the Angel Trees, which are normally located at Armstrong Bank, Atwoods, Peoples National Bank, and Wal-Mart. The public is asked to purchase gifts for these “Angels.” Lions Club members purchase gifts for those who aren’t selected by the public. Lions are very careful that no child is left out and that every Angel receives Christmas presents. The highlight of the project is when Santa Claus, who is a Lion, personally presents the gifts to the children. Lion Yvette Hatridge loves the Angel Tree project and has chaired it for the past three years.
Other local benevolent projects the Lions have supported in the past include Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, Checotah Education Foundation, Boys State, the Lady Wildcats in their fund raising effort for the Masonic Children’s Transportation Fund, and the annual Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Chili Cook-Off.
New members are always needed to help with Checotah Lions projects. Visitors are welcome at the meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays at the Checotah Church of Christ Fellowship Hall, 309 E. Gentry Ave.
Keystone Study Club
The Keystone Study Club will meet in the home of Barbara Newell at 1 p.m. Monday with Barbara Newell presenting the program. Current events will be presented by Dorothy Fite, Betty Gibson and Nan Glenn.