There’s trouble on the streets, and it’s spelled L-I-O-N-S

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

If there’s one thing that strikes fear into hearts of the good people and business owners of the Grand Valley, it isn’t this cub reporter/advertising rep/publisher pounding on their door, calling them out of the blue or using the United States Postal Service to terrorize them into buying an ad or subscribing to the Business Times.

No, there’s something far more sinister afoot in our fair valley — a group of men and women so crazed they approach the unsuspecting with smiles, handshakes and even hugs. But it doesn’t end there. They also wear purple and yellow buttons and carry books of tickets in denominations that range from $10 all the way up to $250.

Yep, it’s Grand Junction Lions Club Carnival ticket selling time. Over the next several weeks, citizens of the valley will be opening mail only to be blasted by their annual ticket purchase. Coffee with friends will come with an extra $10 or $20 added to the tab. Perhaps you’ll just happen to say yes unsuspectingly to one of the Lions when they ask you to buy some tickets — only to find a $25 book is all they have on them. Regardless, you’ll be helping this irreverent group of philanthropy minded, business folks add to their more than $4 MILLION legacy of helping deserving groups and individuals in the Grand Valley with annual gifts.

Over the 90-year history of the Grand Junction Lions Club, dollars raised have been donated back to the community in such recognizable projects and improvements as the Riverfront Trail Project, 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 and Colorado Mesa University.

This year’s group of recipients (after meeting the criteria and acceptance of the hard-working Lions Club awards committee) includes: Tiger Paw Wrestling, Mesa County Search and Rescue, Western Slope Pop Warner Football, Lions Region 3 Kidssight Program, Grand Junction Zoological Quest, Museum of Western Colorado, KAFM Radio, Central High School Baseball, Veteran’s Art Center and the City of Grand Junction for Las Colonias Park. Worthy recipients all.

What makes this year’s carnival ticket selling season that much worse is that I’ve rejoined the ranks of the Grand Junction Lions Club and possess just as little fear of asking for a sale of a book of tickets as I do in asking for an advertising contract —maybe even less. Adding onto this dilemma for the folks I know is the fact the Lions now have a minimum tickets sales goal well above the miniscule number imposed when I was in the club before. So for once I give all of my friends, associates and clients permission to completely ignore my pleas to buy advertising for the paper for the next week or so. Just dig into your pockets for a few bucks to support the Grand Junction Lions Club in its mission in helping better our community and I’ll shut up.  

And then please remember that once we hit about second edition of the Business Times for January, I’ll be back into my other selling mode to support the best-quality, most-targeted publication in the Grand Valley. And I certainly appreciate all of the support I’ve received from readers, subscribers and advertisers over the past 14 years.

No matter what mode you find a Grand Junction Lions Club member in —and they are myriad — carnival time finds them particularly feisty. But then again, unfettered enthusiasm comes naturally for this group both in helping our community. And yes, for the all too unsuspecting populace, in ticket selling as well.

While it might seem like the Grand Junction Lions are always in ticket selling mode, just remember the club is always in some kind of carnival mode in its relentless pursuit of helping the most people while having the most fun. And we certainly appreciate all of the wonderful support we get from this great community.

So look for the buttons, dig into your pockets and give into the tide. It’s kind of like World War Z, only with Lions Club members coming after you.

And since we all aren’t Brad Pitt or part of a Hollywood movie, it’s easier to just succumb to the mob. Plus, you’ll actually feel better afterward, particularly when compared to what the zombies would do.

Our community will as well.

P.S. Call me for tickets.