Yup, that’s what I’m going to urge in this column. It’s time to find the doers. To get behind the people who keep their promises. To elevate those who make their community better for citizens. It’s time to make a stand with those who do what’s right.
Of course, I’m talking about absolutely no one in Washington or Denver. Those folks couldn’t find their lyin’ backsides with a map, two hands and a flashlight. Not that they won’t tell you how much they want to or how much they care about their backsides — which is A LOT, given the amount they cover their own and each others’ — or how much you should care about their backsides as they do. After all, there’s nobody who cares so little about caring so much while accomplishing nothing as a politician.
Since I’m in what’s allegedly the tree-killing business, I don’t have the paper or time to waste on such charlatans. I’d rather use them both on a cast of characters that’s actually been doing good things for the community for nearly 90 years. That’s the fine, fun folks of the Grand Junction Lions Club. And yes, full disclosure, I’m indeed among the revelers in random Lions Club fun and kindness, with occasional off-color antics tossed in.
Coming off another successful giveaway of $100 bills — more than $10,000 worth this Christmas season alone — with the nationally recognized Random Acts of Kindness program benefiting individuals who could use a hand up during the holidays, the Grand Junction Lions Club embarks on its 90th annual carnival and raffle to support worthy nonprofits in our valley. This year’s recipients include several projects for schools and activities with Mesa County School District 51, Strive, the Community Food Bank, Senior Theater, Riverside Education Center, Thunder Mountain Soccer Club and Western Colorado Dragway.
Over the long history of the Grand Junction Lions Club, dollars raised have been donated back to the community in such recognizable projects as the Riverfront Trail and Las Colonias Park Amphitheater, the Art Center, Botanical Gardens, Two Rivers Convention Center, Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, Fruita Community Center, Lincoln Park-Moyer Pool, Museum of Western Colorado, Mesa County Search and Rescue, Colorado Mesa University, local Little League programs and many, many more.
Over the years, the Grand Junction Lions Club has raised and provided more than $7 million in charitable giving for the local community due to the success of its annual carnival and raffle fund-raiser. Combined with other, smaller discretionary grants given throughout the year directly by the Grand Junction Lions Club board, many local needs are met by the fund-raising efforts of the 125 plus members of the Grand Junction Lions Club.
The funds will begin to be disbursed after a successful Lions Club Carnival in February and will continue to be disbursed through September. Raffle tickets went sale Jan. 8 and will be sold until the carnival and parade on Feb. 16.
If you know me — and there’s no denying you do because I’ll make sure others know you know me — you’re probably going to be asked to buy a book or two of raffle tickets. You’re probably going to be asked by other Lions Club members as well. After all, it’s Lions poaching season in Western Colorado and none of us (necessarily) play by local tribe rules. We’re all just out there shootin’ from the hip at anything that moves or breathes to raise money to do great things in our community.
And isn’t that a whole lot better than the lawless folks in Washington and Denver who claim to do good things, promise to do good things and never do good things while holding you up at the barrel of a gun and saying they know what to do with your money than you do?
One should absolutely think it is.
So, yes, a small group of honest, dedicated people can indeed change the world. Grand Junction Lions do just that. I’m proud (see what I did there?) to be a member whose only havoc-wreaking claim to fame is caring too much and trying to sell more raffle tickets — and then going out and doing it.
So when you’re approached for the 20th time by a Grand Junction Lions Club member asking you to buy tickets, don’t treat them like your long lost cousin who got into the insurance business (no knock on insurance people, lots of them buy tickets form me) and you don’t need another term life policy (although you just might) and run for the monument or mesa. Say hi. Thank them for their service. Maybe skip a few beers or cups of coffee and buy another small book if it hits your heart.
Better yet, ask the member to take you to lunch with us to learn more about the most fun service club in Western Colorado. No fake promises, except you’ll have fun, and we throw a great party.