by Cori Hilsgen
St. Joseph Y2K Lions members have been active volunteering locally and it was reflected in a busy meeting June 12 at the St. Joseph Community Fire Hall.
Club members had selected Fran and Marilyn Court to be this year’s Senior King and Queen for the Fourth of July annual parade sponsored by the St. Joseph Lions. Past king and queen Y2K members Othmar and Marilyn Schmitz crowned the Courts for the upcoming honor at the Wednesday meeting.
Along with usual business and a potluck dinner, the organization donated funds from current brat sales at the St. Joseph Meat Market to area needs. Sales and tips of $652.82 generated from May 24 and 25 sales were donated to Carol Theisen and Lion Joyce Faber for the flower baskets which help beautify downtown St. Joseph.
Theisen and Margy Hughes started the project eight years ago and Theisen thanked members for the donation.
“No one else does it like you guys do it,” she said. “The city is very supportive of this project and the businesses love it.”
Theisen added they have 112 baskets this year and are so appreciative of the people who water and maintain the flowers daily.
Sales and tips of $675.05 generated from May 31 and June 1 sales were donated to Lion John Schiel for Project New Hope.
Schiel thanked Y2K members for always being very supportive of Project New Hope of Minnesota Lions Foundation Inc. and said it is appreciated.
He explained Project New Hope was founded in 2005 and its mission is to provide education, training and skills necessary to manage veterans lives after wartime service. For combat veterans and their families, wartime doesn’t end when they return home but is often felt during a soldier’s entire lifetime and also impacts family members.
Some statistics he shared include that each year since 2009, there have been more suicides by veterans than actual combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Twenty-two veterans end their lives each day. Veterans are twice as likely to get divorced and three times more likely to be unemployed.
Project New Hope offers cost-free weekend family retreats to veterans no matter in which era a soldier might have served. Minnesota retreat locations are among lakes, wide-open spaces and woodlands in Annandale, Clitheral, Eden Prairie, Lake George, Maple Lake, McGregor and Stewartville. They feature scenic waterfronts, hiking trails, fire pits and all are fully handicapped accessible. Most have year-round recreation options.
Past Lions district governor Jim Meyer attended the meeting for induction of new officers which included Ginger Meier, Lion Tamer; Beth Leither, Lion Tail Twister; Ann Reischel and Joyce Faber, first-year directors; Marilyn Schmitz and Othmar Schmitz, second- year directors; Sandi Stocker, second vice-president; Kathi Schmidt, first vice president; Delrose Fischer, treasurer; Jan Boeckers, secretary; Becky Staneart, president; and Kay Lemke, immediate past president.
Returning Y2K member Carol Nelson was reinstalled as a member after moving away to care for her mother and now returning to the area.
“I am glad to be back,” Nelson said. “I have missed everyone.”
For additional information about Project New Hope visit the website projectnewhope.net.