Boykins Lions Club has long, proud history of service

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Boykins Lions Club has served the community and the outlying areas in our county for more than 63 years.

Chartered in 1946, our club is the only Lions Club in Southampton County. The Franklin Lions Club was our sponsor.

R.H. Powell Jr. was president of the Franklin Lions Club at that time and was a former resident of the town of Boykins.

Roy A. Lassiter is the only living charter member of our club. In the past he has served as president and has been serving our club as treasurer for the past 14 years.

We currently have 25 members and two “at large” member for a total of 27.

Over the last 63 years, the Boykins Lions Club has contributed more than $189,000 back into our community.

For 37 years, our Lions Club has sponsored the Boykins Lions Club Steak Feast, which is our primary fundraiser, held at Draper’s Pond on the first Wednesday in September.

Another source of funding is the sales of the Lions Club brooms. These brooms are made by the blind and have been sold to our club for many, many years. At one time we covered most of the towns in Southampton County and the town of Severn, N.C.

Due to the aging of many of our club members, we have stopped going door-to-door. We are very appreciative of the loyal support from our citizens and our businesses in supporting this fundraiser. This year, our club has decided to put out a flier that will be distributed door to door in our town where you can call and order a broom by calling the following numbers: Spier Edwards, 650-8134; Mike McManus, 653-1818; and David Phipps, 654-0776.

The light brooms are $8 each and warehouse brooms are $9 each. Anyone interested in supporting the Lions Club and purchasing a broom in Southampton County and surrounding areas can call these numbers and we will see that you get a broom; or you may choose to pick it up at Boykins’ newly opened Boykins Beans & Ice Cream on Main Street and enjoy a refreshing ice cream cone.

Our main service is to provide assistance to children and adults in need of glasses and hearing aids. We sponsor the sight and hearing van that comes to Southampton Public Schools and Southampton Academy which carries volunteers to screen the sight and hearing needs of children, screening more than 400 students per year.

Just recently, our Lions Club had the privilege of providing glasses to a middle school student screened by the Lions Sight Van. At the time, her reading skills were below average. After being screened and obtaining the glasses, the student’s reading skills skyrocketed and this last semester the student was on the honor roll. This all happened in the Boykins community.

Our Lions Club also conducts a diabetes screening and supports the following programs: the Local Food Bank at Boykins United Methodist Church, Leader Dog for the Blind program, Eye Bank and Boy Scouts of America. We also provide community assistance to families in need in our community. We collect old hearing aids and eyeglasses to be recycled. The drop box for these items is located at Pharmacy of Boykins.

The reason for this column is to promote our Lions Club broom sale and to inform the public how important Lions are in this community. We perform services because we believe in the value of giving back.

We’re not just another community group. We’re the world’s largest service club. We’re the Knights of the Blind. But we are also crucially important to youths, those with disabilities and those affected by disasters. Can you imagine the world without Lions? Or even just your own community? Our miracles of service enable countless people to live more productive lives. Lions are the everyday heroes in our communities who selflessly fill in the gaps not filled by government or charities.

Please continue to support our broom sale, steak feast and other functions of our club. We need your support more than ever.