The Florence-Siuslaw Chapter of Lions Club International hosted its annual Bass Tournament on Siltcoos Lake this past weekend.
The event is a major fundraiser for the civic-minded group, which is committed to addressing the serious issues of blindness and deafness — not only in America, but around the world.
Darling’s Marina was the host location for the tourney June 3, which drew more than 40 competitors.
According to Mark Meyers, Sight and Hearing Chair for the local chapter of the club, the tournament has a long tradition
of engaging the community in an activity that is outdoors and regionally significant.
“This event started 35 years ago and is held every year on the first weekend of June. We took a popular activity in the community and tied it to a fundraising event. We focus on addressing sportsmanship and healthy competition with a sense of community,” he said.
The Lion’s Bass Tournament is one of the few “open,” tournaments in the area and the tourney is organized to encourage family participation.
This year’s tournament awarded trophies for teams and for individual men and women in adult and junior categories.
Meyers said the majority of funds raised from the event will go directly to local students.
“This year we raised $570 from the raffle which is dedicated to the two high school scholarships we give each year,” he said. “The $229 from the food wagon sales will go to our other programs, which include eye and hearing care and exams, eyeglasses and dogs for the blind.”
Local Lions are also involved as sponsors in the upcoming Wings and Wheels car and plane show on Saturday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Florence Municipal Airport.
There are a number of meaningful projects on the horizon for the club, which will be partially funded by the proceeds from the “Wings and Wheels” show.
“Shortly, we will be building and putting in place the first of five school bus shelters to keep children out of inclement weather while waiting for the bus,” Meyers said. “The community has always been supportive of these projects, especially the local businesses which don’t get a direct benefit other than knowing they have helped in a mission that is critical to our community.”
The Lions Club has expanded the number and types of causes that are tackled over the years, but it remains true to its core intent, which is to help others in need.
Meyers wants the community to know the local chapter of the club is always looking for new members to assist in their mission, which is also the group’s motto: “We Serve.”
For more information, contact the Florence-Siuslaw Lions Club at 541-997-4855.