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Dec 15    

December 15, 2009

Highlights from the December 15 Meeting

Bob Sprinkle conducted the meeting. 

Everyone thanked Robin and Terry G. for the wonderful food and service at the bi-monthly meetings.  Everett D. reminded everyone about the purpose of the “fuzzy bucket” money.  Remember, this pot is for tips for Robin and is no longer for the quarter donation from each member.

 Dr. Oliver received approval to check a lady’s eyes to determine if she needs glasses.

Bob reminded members about the VIP fishing tournament.  Ellen was asked to send VIP fishing and Camp Dogwood pamphlets and applications to all the visually impaired in Alleghany. Ellen will send those folders, along with a letter from President Allen Reinhardt.

 Bob reported some statistics to the group:

1. The Sparta Club was number one in our district for White Cane contributions. We are at 46% of the goal set for December 31, goal being 40%.

2.  NC is not looking so good in terms of clubs and members. In order to be a district, there must be 35 clubs with 1,250 members. Recently, clubs have been shut down. Loss of clubs and Lions means the people they have served in the past will suffer.

3. There are 20 new clubs in China.

Tom A. reminded members he has Camp Dogwood tickets. Faye R. was the first Lion to turn in money and tickets. Tom will give money and tickets to Clarence C. every two or three weeks, and Clarence will then send all money and tickets to the proper office.

 "One never truly feels the breeze until it blows him away."

 - Ken Kesey


November 17, 2009

Highlights from the November 17 Meeting

Guest speaker was Patti C. - she talked about the New Century Scholars program in Alleghany County. This year, a student who became involved with this program in the 6th grade will be the first to graduate from Alleghany High School. New Century Scholars has provided guidance for students who might not even think about going to college to begin in the 6th grade to prepare for college.

Mrs. Cox presented information about Imagination Library, a program begun by Dolly Parton that plans to put a hardback book in the hands of parents for children who are 3 years old through age 5. Books will be mailed every month to children who are not in school. It is hoped that parents will help their children by reading to them or helping them read the books. This effort to increase reading and comprehension by young children will help get children to continue their education after high school. Not being able to read is greatest the cause of students not seeking or being unable to make it in college. Being able to read makes all the difference in encouraging young students to work hard to go to college. The cost for one child to receive a book every month is $28. Mrs. Cox asked that everyone consider making a donation to help make a difference in the lives of our students.

Bloodmobile was held Nov. 23. THANKS to Gill T. for arranging the bloodmobile visits and attracting donors.

The Board voted to pay toward an eye exam for someone that Keith O. reported needing help with the costs.

Bob Sprinkle, VDG-elect, reported traveling to several locations and attending meetings and events.

Bob also reported that if anyone wants to participate in disaster relief training, only 10 individuals are needed. Interested folks should call Susan R. at 372-5646 or Ellen W. at 372-4801.

DON'T FORGET DECEMBER 1! This will be our holiday meal for spouses and prospective new members. Prime rib and all the trimmings are on the menu! Bring nonperishable foods to this meeting for Christmas boxes to be delivered to visually-impaired citizens of Alleghany.

November 3, 2009

Highlights from the November 3 Meeting

A great big "THANK YOU" to Bob and Carolyn S. for heading up a very successful Fall Convention. And special thanks go to Lion Karin N. who, with the help of her father and friends (who are not Lions), made it possible for everyone to take home a potted Fraser Fir seedling and treat bags. According to one Lion attending, Karin made 600 meat balls that were available, along with shrimp and other wonderful foods, at the hospitality room. Great job, folks - you showed that the Sparta Club can "get 'er done."

Susan R. announced that this weekend is OPERATION INASMUCH - anyone who can help in any way will be appreciated. Call her for details.

BLOODMOBILE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, at the Sparta United Methodist Church - Gill needs help at 7:30 that morning setting up; volunteers to help during the blood donation time; and help taking down and putting away all the items used.

VETERANS DAY: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11 - Joe Smyrski asked for volunteers to meet him at the pavilion at 7:30 that morning to put out the flags. If it is raining, the display of flags will be cancelled.

THANKSGIVING LUNCH FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, at noon - the Club will provide a meal for the county's visually impaired and their guides. Please plan on helping to serve our guests, and we are asking folks to bring side dishes and desserts. Someone will contact you to see what you can bring.

CHRISTMAS DINNER, SPOUSES INVITED: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 6:00 pm. We hope to have some entertainment, and we will have a delicious meal prepared by our caterer, Robin G. Plan now to join us for some good fun and fellowship. Don't forget to bring CANNED GOODS for distribution to our county's VIPs.

Keep L. Roe (Al) B., Sue M. and little Landon J. on your prayer list.

A close friend will help you out of a dark situation, but your best friend will always be with you, even in the darkest of days. Always express your love and appreciation to your good friends. They are

October 20, 2009

Highlights from the October 20 Meeting

A Thanksgiving meal for the visually impaired members of our community will be held November 21 at noon at the pavilion. Everyone is encouraged to come and help with this very important Lions Club project as we honor these deserving individuals.

December 1 was set for the Christmas dinner, and we cordially invite you to bring your spouse/guest to share in the holiday festivities. Bring canned goods for the baskets to be delivered to our visually impaired friends. More information will be provided at a later date.

Our recent White Cane drive netted $1,690.71. Harold H. thanked the Lions who helped him. THANK YOU, HAROLD, for all your hard work and service.

Tom A. reported that the auction at the joint meeting with the West Jefferson Club brought in $1,092. THANK YOU, TOM, for providing the handmade trunk. Raffle sales totaled $450.

Since Everett and Rose D. preferred to be in San Francisco and heading for Hawaii, no Tail Twister activities were held. Gill T. agreed to tell the story of how he came to live in Alleghany County. Gill was born in India. As he grew older, he helped his father take care of the family and was sent to the United States to sell tailored suits. During one of his frequent trips to Roanoke, he met Vicki. It was love at first sight! In 1972, they came to Sparta, but he continued to travel. Gill operated a few businesses, but in 1977 he decided to open his current store. We’re glad you’re here, Gill!

November 3   -   next Lions Club meeting
We would really love to have all the members at the meetings!
November 21 -   Thanksgiving meal for our visually impaired friends
December 1   -   Christmas dinner - bring your spouse/guest

Remember to be nice to everyone you meet. You never know but what your smile or handshake may be the only good thing that happens to someone that day!


“WHERE is my SUNDAY paper?!” The irate customer calling the newspaper office loudly demanded to know where her Sunday edition was.

“Madam,” said the newspaper employee, “today is Saturday. The Sunday paper is not delivered until tomorrow, on SUNDAY.”

There was quite a long pause on the other end of the phone, followed by a ray of recognition as she was heard to mutter, “So THAT'S why no one was at church today.”

September 15, 2009

Highlights from the September 15 Meeting

Members voted to give $500 to Eldon J.’ family to be applied toward the medical expenses for his grandson, Landon.

Tom A. stated he needs volunteers for the Adopt-A-Highway litter pickup. The date for the project will be announced later. In the meantime, let Tom know if you will be willing to help.

Pavilion rental fees have been received in the amount $1,400.

The next Blood Mobile is scheduled for Monday, September 28. Volunteers should be at the Sparta United Methodist Church at 8:30 a.m. to help set up.
NC Lions Foundation President John Miller was our guest speaker. This year is the 75th anniversary, with special activities culminating in May. He asked all clubs to visible to community. Sparta’s club raised over $24,000 last year, four times the previous year’s donations.

Bob S. reported that Allen R. turned in $1,800 for ads in the fall convention program. The convention is October 30 and 31.

Doc E. entertained the group. He was asked to sing “Happy Birthday” to all members who had celebrated birthdays in July, August and September. Doc chose to sing to himself . . . what a delight!!

We will host our annual joint meeting with the West Jefferson club on Tuesday, October 6. Bring your spouse/guest for the picnic and bring items for the auction. Remember -  auction proceeds are split between the two clubs to buy Camp Dogwood tickets! If you haven’t already done so, please let Allen know right away if you are planning to attend. He must turn in the head count on October 1.

September 11, 2009

Highlights from the September 11 Meeting

Today is Patriots Day...proudly display your American flag!!!!!!

The minutes from our September 1 meeting will be available for approval at the September 15 meeting. In the meantime, please note the following information pertaining to upcoming events:

                                       MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND BE THERE!!!!

Our guest speaker at the meeting this coming Tuesday will be North Carolina Lion Foundation President John Miller. Please make every effort to be present for this special visit.

On October 6, we will host our annual joint meeting with the West Jefferson club. Everyone is encouraged to invite your spouse or guest and enjoy an evening of good food and good fellowship! We will have a delicious dinner, followed by an auction, with proceeds being divided between the two clubs. You will need to let Allen know if you plan to attend and if you will bring a guest. He must have this information to give Robin the final headcount on Thursday, October 1. Don’t forget to bring items for the auction!!!

Lion Harold H. is seeking volunteers for the next White Cane Can Shake scheduled for Friday, October 9, and Saturday, October 10. Be sure to let him know which day(s) you will be able to help with this important club project.

Because our bulletin is short today, it is a perfect time to share some humor. It will take a couple minutes to read, but it is good for a chuckle.

                                               A Senior Moment...at 48?
Dallas Morning News Community Opinions page 10B (David McClure of McKinney teaches science and coaches at Faubion Middle School in McKinney.  He is also a "Teacher Voices" volunteer columnist.)

“$5.37.” That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bueno said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Emo hairdo said the harshest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, “It's okay. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount.” I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. “Only $4.68,” he said cheerfully. I stood there stupefied. I am 48, not even 50 yet... a mere child! Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Emo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me? I'll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was, waiting, with a big smile on his face. Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler? “Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?” I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind. “Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!”

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing. That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rearview mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rearview mirror. Then a few other objects came into focus. The car seat in the back. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard. Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle. Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in my stomach: Hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found. I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time.

There Emo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, “What is the world coming to?” All I could say was, “Did I leave my food and drink in here?” At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits! Emo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, “I think you left this in my truck by mistake.” I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized. She offered these kind words: “It's okay. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time.”

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40. Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And “No,” I told the officer, “I'm not too old to be driving this fast.” As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blanky. The good news was I had successfully found my way home.

                        HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND...HOPE TO SEE YOU TUESDAY!

August 18, 2009

Allen R. asked members to let him know which committees they would prefer to serve on.  Members’ input is desired and very important.  Get in touch with Allen and let him know what area is best suited to your talents and interests.

The next flag display will be September 7.  Volunteers will be appreciated.

The Board agreed to allow a patient seen by Keith O. to be referred to a doctor at Baptist Hospital for an exam and recommendation for needed procedure.

The guest speaker for the evening was the White Cane Chairman for District 31B.  He described services of White Cane and reported on various projects -  1,311 canes were given out last year; 171,500 pairs of glasses were recycled;  14,697 were served in the Vision Van;  689 campers this year enjoyed Camp Dogwood. He stated that college scholarships are given to children of blind individuals after their applications are approved. 

The Clara and Clarence duo, joined by their children and some Lions, sold $1,570 worth of concessions at the DOT sale.  Clara made “a big batch” of delicious biscuits that disappeared quickly.

Allen reported on the success of the Vision Van that was in Sparta in conjunction with the dental clinic:  57 people were screened and 42 of those were referred for further examination.  Age groups screened were:  age 20-29, 9 referrals;  40-49, 17 screened with 12 referrals; 50-59, 15 screened, 13 referred.  The Vision Van will be held again in 2010 at the same time the dental clinic is scheduled at the high school to allow a greater number of people who need this service to receive valuable screenings.

Tom A. was thanked for his leadership of Adopt-a-Highway projects.  Lions volunteers were thanked by the State of North Carolina for being a part of 6,000 groups who helped save the government around five million dollars.


September 1   Program will be provided by District Governor Dot Nichols.

September 15  NC Lions Foundation President John Miller will be the speaker.

October 6  Annual Picnic   Bring your spouse/guest so they can enjoy dinner and fellowship with our Lions family.

August 4, 2009

Highlights from the August 4 Meeting

Gill T. introduced the guest speaker Cynthia Grant, director of the Sparta Teapot Museum of Craft and Design.  Ms. Grant informed the group about several exhibits that have been held in the museum on Main Street.  165 kids participated in the teapot competition in April.  The current exhibit displays musical instruments found in Alleghany and nearby areas. 

Gill reported that 32 usable pints of blood were collected at the blood mobile, surpassing the goal of 30 pints.

Marion A., who presided over the meeting, showed the group two patches the club recently received, one being the White Cane patch.  Harold H. was thanked for his successful leadership of the campaign, which surpassed the goal that was set by 10%.  Thank you, Harold, and everyone who helped make this event successful.

Marion reported that the Cub Scouts in the County had a very good day camp.  31 boys got to make birdhouses, make a terrarium and a photograph of themselves from inside a large birdhouse.  Phil H., Marion A. and Cliff P. helped make the camp successful.

Buck M. reported that Sue is in Sunbridge and is slowly recovering.  She is in room 204 if you would like to visit her.  Buck, we’re so glad you have her back in Sparta!

Clarence C. reminded folks that workers are needed in the concession stand during the DOT sale.  Folks will be coming to look at items available for sale on August 11 and the sale will be the 12th.

Bob S. reminded members about donating $10 as a memorial to the four Lions who have died within the last year and one-half.  A full-page memorial will be published in the booklet for the Fall Convention to be held October 30 & 31.

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Dale Carnegie

July 25, 2009

Highlights from the July 25 Meeting

Proposals for two fundraising events were presented by President Allen Reinhardt:

One event involves the Harlem Globetrotters Ambassadors coming to Alleghany County. Available dates for the basketball game are March 1, 2 or 3. Twenty high-profile individuals would need to be solicited to play. After a discussion of the costs for the event, A motion was made and seconded to book the Ambassadors for one of the dates, based on the availability of the gym. The motion carried.

Another fundraising event would be to sell chances on a house on Grandridge Road. The Club would need to sell 1,000 tickets at $100 each. Proceeds from the event would be designated for various Club programs for the blind and deaf in the county. Advertising would be extensive – on the internet, with real estate agencies, the Lions newsletter and other newsletters, newspapers, etc. After discussion, Ed A. was asked to check the legalities of such a project, and members were asked to take time to think about this project until the next meeting.

Allen announced that President Obama has established an incentive entitled “United We Serve.”  The Club could list the projects that volunteers could help with, giving people the opportunity help out. After discussion, a motion was made and seconded to participate in the initiative. The motion carried.

Gill T. stated that the bloodmobile will be Monday, July 27, and asked for volunteers from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm.

Allen announced that pins celebrating West Jefferson Lions Club’s 60th anniversary were sold for $5 each, and half the proceeds from sales was returned to the Sparta Club. Attending the celebration were 117 Lions from across North Carolina, representing about 2,000 years of experience in Lionism.

Clarence C. presented the financial report. $2,913.69 was made on concessions for two days of the fiddlers’ convention. $11,479.78 is the balance in the checking account. The next event requiring concessions will be on August 11 and 12, 6 am – 1 pm, for the DOT’s auction of surplus equipment. Everyone who could volunteer was asked to call Mr. Crouse, and those who are on the list to work  but cannot participate were asked to find a replacement.

There was a suggestion that a full page in the program book for the Fall Convention be dedicated to the memory and service of four deceased Lions who served the Sparta Lions Club with much dedication and loyalty. One page would feature photographs of these Lions – Cleo Reeves, Tom Richardson, Fred Styron and John Woodruff –  with some personal information at each picture. Club members can make memorials of $10 each in memory of one or more of these deceased Lions. After discussion, a motion was made and seconded that the page for the fall convention program book be dedicated to the four deceased Lions. The motion carried.

Faye R. asked for any information Lions wanted added to the history book, in addition to The Alleghany News article recently published.

Allen announced that Dr. Jim Frazier was a former Lion and is being reinstated, effective the July 21 meeting. He was welcomed by everyone.

Gill T. introduced Alleghany County’s Sheriff, David Edwards. Mr. Edwards spoke candidly about the duties of the Sheriff and deputies in Alleghany County. President Reinhardt  thanked the Sheriff for taking time to attend the meeting and share information about the duties of his office.

Eldon J. gave an update on his 3-month old grandson. Landon is doing well and just returned from Boston for an evaluation. The family must raise $75,000 for a liver transplant he needs. Fund raisers are being planned and Eldon asked for everyone’s support and prayers.

W. J. Casstevens’ 17-year-old daughter, Brittany Nicole, was killed in an automobile accident on July 17. Mr. Casstevens and his family participated in the Lions Horse Show for many years. Everyone was asked to remember Brittany’s family in their prayers.

A message from Brian and Marcella G.’s daughter Amanda was read expressing her appreciation for the scholarship she received to pay toward college expenses. Ms. Galyean is the granddaughter of Clarence and Clara C..

                   Join us on Tuesday. . .we miss you when you’re absent!

July 7, 2009

Highlights from the July 7 Meeting

President Allen R. welcomed everyone and praised Sparta’s Lions for making ours a “We” club. Communication is very important, and it is hoped that members will speak up if they have suggestions or cannot serve in a specific capacity. Gill will work on upcoming programs and desires suggestions from members.

Concessions for the July 4 lawn mower race brought in around $3,700... largest sales ever. Way to go, Lions workers! 

Broom availability and quality will be researched. Members want better brooms than those available for last year’s customers.

The group voted to award $1,000 to Bob S. to pay for upcoming expenses in his role as Vice District Governor.

Treasurer Clarence C. reported $13,763.75 in the checking account, a balance of almost $12,000 in the CD at Fifth Third Bank, and $11,000 in the CD at BB&T. Members received a copy of the year’s budget.

A proposed budget for this fiscal year was presented to the entire group and was approved. Figures were based on the last year’s income and expenses and determined after several hours of work by Clarence and other members of the Finance Committee. Discussion took place about using some of the money now held in CDs, but no decisions were reached.

Newspapers are out in several racks in town. Carolyn S. was thanked for her hard work on getting the paper ready for publication at a cost of $2,612.

Marion A. displayed the I. Beverly Lake Public Service Award that was presented to Ed by his peers. Congratulations, Ed – a well-deserved award.

The Bloodmobile will be held July 27 at the Sparta United Methodist Church  from 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Your help is needed!!!!! Contact Gill to volunteer.

Our VDG Sprinkle reported that the Fall Convention will be at the Crowne Plaza in Hickory, October 30-31. Karin N. is chairman of the hospitality room and will be asking for help. To pay for the convention costs, ads need to be sold. Business card size is $25; full page is $100.
The group agreed to pay $2,000 toward the White Cane Fund.

President Reinhardt asked that folks be thinking about volunteering to be the Club Chaplain.

We have learned that Sue M. has been transferred from South Carolina to Elkin.

Remember Lawrence M. -  he is going through quite a bit right now, so don’t forget to pray!

Join us on Tuesday. . .we miss you when you’re absent!

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass;
it’s about learning to dance in the rain!


June 16, 2009

Highlights from the June 16 Meeting

The newspaper is at the printer’s office. Thanks to all the Lions who sold ads during these difficult financial times and raised $8,400.

Thanks to Joe S. and his team of volunteers for the Flag Day display.

Out of the 39 people who came to donate blood, 36 were approved. Great job, Gill, and thanks to everyone who volunteered. The bloodmobile will be back in Sparta on July 27.

Duane D. reported that after much discussion and with sadness, the horse show has been cancelled. The Fairgrounds committee is pursuing the possibility of having a lawn mower race on July 4. This will preserve the Saturday near July 4 for the Club on future county schedules and provide a fund-raising opportunity for the Club to replace income lost when the lawn mower race was cancelled earlier this season.

Thanks to Lions who worked at the concession stand during the mud sling, when over $2,700 was made. The local health inspector said the group had done an outstanding job getting the area ready for the sale of food. Thanks to everyone whose efforts went into the completion of this project.

Vickie S. reported that 451 people were served during the recent dental clinic at an estimated value of $170,000.  This service was made possible by 107 volunteers and 102 professionals. The Vision Van was located near the dental clinic at the high school and screened 63 people. Awesome jobs!!

Officers for the 2009-2010 year were installed. A beautiful plaque was presented to Carolyn S. for her very capable and dedicated leadership during the current year. Thank you, Carolyn for all your hard work, concern and organizational skills.

During Tail Twister time, Everett D. tried to collect $$ from Linda I. because her name was drawn at the last meeting and she wasn’t there to prove she was wearing her pin. But, Linda asked (well, kinda demanded) that she have the floor. Linda produced written proof that she was in Redding, California, at a Lions Club meeting that week. Everett was forced to back down.


Eight Lions attended the District 31B awards dinner on Saturday, June 20, in North Wilkesboro. District Governor Jerry M. welcomed everyone. After a delicious meal, announcements were made and awards given out.

Sparta’s Club sent the most money per member to Camp Dogwood - $3,354.

A certificate of appreciation was presented to PDG Doc E. for Tissue Procurement and Sight & Hearing Conservation.

Allen R. received certificates for contributions to the Constitution and By-Laws, Diabetes Committee and the Disaster Relief Team.

Carolyn Sprinkle was recognized for her capable leadership as Zone 1 Chair.

A plaque was presented to the Sparta Club for Newsletters being published and distributed on a timely basis and winning the Points Contest.

Bob S. received a token of appreciation for his assistance to the Governor as Vice District Governor-elect and recognition for his service on the Disaster Relief Team.

The White Cane goal for this year was $77,000; $76,832 has been received and another club will send $500. Governor Mertz thanked Mike R. for his great work and reported that District 31B is No. 1 in the State for funds raised!!  Many of you probably remember that Governer Mertz’s head was going to be shaved if the goal was reached.  Mike R., Allen D., and others came prepared with their razors, shaving cream, and towel.  After a few strokes across his head, the barbers let Mr. Mertz go free.

Hope to see you all
 at the next meeting on July 7.


June 2, 2009

Highlights from the June 2 Meeting

The Sparta Lions Club met June 2, 2009, at the Pavilion at 6:00 pm. Carolyn began the meeting by announcing that June 20 is the date set for District 31-B’s presentation of awards. The many accomplishments of the Sparta club and others will be rewarded.

The group decided to employ Robin G. to clean the upstairs and downstairs of the pavilion every two weeks during peak rental period and as needed during winter months. Carolyn reported she had mailed to letters to members who owed past dues. She had asked that Lions bring their accounts up-to-date.

Lions work hard to keep the pavilion clean and in good shape for the community’s use. Randy M. and his committee are appreciated for inspecting facilities after rentals.

The dinner meeting was opened with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, as is the custom.

The newspaper is being published by Gary P. Ad sales are up to around $8,400 with more money to come in.

The next flag display will be June 15.

All Lions attending the meeting had an opportunity to approve a $500 donation toward the Marine Band’s concert for the entire community at Woodruff Stadium in September as a part of the sesquicentennial.

The Vision Van is to be in Sparta on June 12 in the high school parking lot. The free dental clinic will be held June 12 and 13. Allen R. and Marion A. are coordinating the location of the Vision Van.

A short celebration of the life of John Woodruff was presented by Doc E. A framed picture showing John on his farm and wording acknowledging John’s contribution to the Lions Club and the entire community was prepared with the assistance of Joe W. The memorial was handed to Rita Woodruff, who then presented it to the Club for display in the facility.

Joe S. was presented with a plaque honoring him as Lion of the Year. Joe was chosen for his dedication to and work for the Club.

The bloodmobile collected around 35 pints of blood. Volunteers were thanked for making this service possible and successful.

Allen R. and Bob S. presented information about the Lions involvement in disaster relief. A flood bucket was brought to the meeting and a lengthy list of items in the bucket was read.

Installation of officers for the upcoming 2009-10 year will be held during the next meeting, Tuesday, June 16.

Remember -  Relay for Life is Friday, June 12 and the morning of June 13. The opening ceremony on Friday night is 6:30. Come out and enjoy a fun evening and support raising money for cancer research.

Please pray that L. Roe B., Lawrence M. and John M. will continue to improve and get stronger every day. Also remember Rita and Jay Woodruff and all John’s friends as they continue to heal.

Also, remember little Landon Joines and his family. They are working hard to convince Medicaid about the treatment they believe is needed now to allow Landon to grow and get stronger. The web address is  http://www.landonjoines.blogspot.com

“A nice box of chocolates provides your
total daily intake of calories in one place.
 Isn't that handy?”

April 21, 2009

Highlights from the April 21 Meeting



Newspaper ads and articles are due to Carolyn S. by May 5. Please do your best to make this a project we can be proud of!

A lawnmower race will be held at the fairgrounds on Saturday, May 9. We will need 10 people to work from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m., and 10 people to work from 7:00 - 11:00 p.m.

This year’s Membership Appreciation/Prospective Member Dinner is Tuesday, May 19. The deadline for making reservations is May 14.

The next Bloodmobile will be held Monday, May 25. Volunteers are needed to work that day, and donors are needed to provide life-saving blood.

The Vision Van will visit Alleghany County on Friday, June 12, from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Four to six volunteers are needed at all times during the screenings. Please consider assisting with this important Lions Club project.


Marjorie B. and Pam G.'s applications have been approved for Camp Dogwood attendance this summer. Doc E. was thanked for his work on contacting our county’s VIPs.

Tom A. reported mailing in 341 books of Camp Dogwood tickets. Way to go, Lions . . . Everett D. is now leading the pack!

Joe S. mailed out 113 letters to potential flag display sponsors for the upcoming year. He has received 73 responses thus far; 18 people are needed to display flags – 5 or 6 people and two pickups for each display date.

A brief accounting was given of the Club's costs and income. Clarence C. will prepare a budget, with the help of other Club officers and PDGs, and have it ready for presentation at a June meeting.

The concessions stand will open soon for summer events. Tom A. asked folks to volunteer to do the painting at the fairgrounds. The date was set for April 29. (More information below regarding this project.)

Agnes J. and Wes B. gave details of the upcoming events in celebration of the sesquicentennial. A pageant is planned for August - date to be announced later. The 52nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band (52 people) will be arriving in Alleghany County on September 25 and staying at Laurel Ridge Moravian Camp. The Band will lead the parade on September 26 and provide a free concert for everyone that night at Woodruff Stadium. Approximately $5,600 will be needed to pay for the band's lodging and meals. Clubs, businesses, and individuals in the County are being asked to support the cause.

Doc E. told the group about his exciting trip to Washington, DC, where  he, Cliff P., and John M. were honored as WWII veterans. A trip to the WWII memorial was a humbling experience, as were the greetings by crowds of people, both in Washington and when they returned to the Charlotte Airport.


Thanks to Tom A. (and helper), Al B., Randy M., and Bob S., the painting of the concession stand has been completed. Tom has asked that we come at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, for our clean-up meeting so we can help with the painting of the mobile stage, using the paint that was left over from painting the building. For those who can come early, your help will be GREATLY appreciated! If you are unable to come at 3:00, please come to the concession stand area by 6:00. We will not have a board meeting this time; we will have a light supper and begin our work. All supplies will be furnished. We need a MINIMUM of 15 people to complete the clean-up in one session.

A message from the President

Our Membership Appreciation/New Member Invitation Dinner will be held at the Lions Pavilion on Tuesday, May 19. We will have a short board meeting  and will begin our meal at 6:30. Be certain to invite your spouse/significant other and at least one prospective member. I will need a head count on May 14 to give to our caterer.

Thanks to all who signed up to work the flag project with Joe S.

Thanks to all who helped with the Camp Dogwood clean-up day.

This is our busy season, and there is much to accomplish! I appreciate each one of you, and I’m so very proud of your work and enthusiasm. The work all of you have done and the giving of your time, your God-given talents and professional skills, as well as your financial support, makes me so proud to be a fellow Lion and to have each of you in my life as we do this work.

I would ask that you keep our friends Eldon & Kathy Joines and their family in your thoughts and prayers. Their new grandson, Landon Allen Joines, was born April 20, and has experienced some extremely serious health problems. They have established a blog at  http://landonjoines.blogspot.com/

With great sadness, we have said good-bye to our dear and faithful Lion, John Woodruff, who passed away on Saturday, April 25. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends in our club, and his many, many associates throughout the state. We are grateful for his years of dedication and service to the Sparta Lions Club since his installation on December 1, 1963.

Carolyn Sprinkle

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”             Marcel Proust, French writer


April 7, 2009

Highlights from the April 7 Meeting

Vice-President Marion A. presided at the last meeting on April 7. The group discussed the upcoming Cabinet meeting in Claremont on April 19 and the State Convention coming up on May 1, 2 and 3.

When the Vision Van comes June 12, it is hoped more visually-impaired people in the county will take advantage of the free services. Marion suggested having sign-up sheets at Alleghany Cares and the Food Closet. The group agreed, and Marion will take care of getting the information out.

At the last bloodmobile, 34 people came to donate blood; of those, 32 were able to donate a pint of blood. The next bloodmobile will be Memorial Day.

Work Day at Camp Dogwood is April 21. The volunteers will be working on the walking path.

Tom A. reported that 183 books of tickets have been turned into Camp Dogwood. Tom’s handcrafted blanket chest was awarded to Duane D., who held the lucky ticket number.

The group agreed to invite George S. and daughter, Kim S., and others to provide the entertainment for the Membership Drive/Member Appreciation dinner meeting set for May 5.

President Carolyn S. passed out lists of names/businesses for every Lion to approach regarding ads in this years Lion’s Club newspaper. If $35 ads were sold to every name on the lists, the sales would amount to $16,450. This should encourage every Lion to work hard at selling ads!

Joe S. talked about how difficult it has been to get enough people for the flag projects. He says he needs 18 people, 2 for each day the flags will be displayed. Everyone who can volunteer is urged to do so.

Doc E. announced that he, Cliff P., and John M. –  World War II veterans –  will be traveling to Washington, DC, thanks to the Sparta Rotary Club and the state level. Our hats are off to these and all Veterans!!

Doc Watson will be at Glendale Springs performing for the West Jefferson Club. The folks in the WJ club offered tickets to any of the Sparta Lions before they went on sale publicly. The concert will be May 15 - cost is $25, which includes not only great music but a hot dog dinner with the trimmings. More information will be given out later.

Hope to see you at the meeting Tuesday...
we miss you when you’re absent!

This year,
Earth Day
will be celebrated on
Wednesday, April 22.
If you really love
the earth, celebrate
Earth Day Every Day!

March 17, 2009

Highlights from the March 17 Meeting

The members present voted to:

  1. donate $500 to support the local Boy Scouts.
  2. approve two requests to attend Camp Dogwood this summer,
    pending application approval, and to pay $100 of the $150 fee for up
    to three people to attend. Doc Evans was asked to contact the visually
    handicapped in our county to see if anyone would like to participate.
  3. donate 100 numbered anniversary pins as a gift to the West Jefferson Club
    that will bear a tag noting they are compliments of our club.

A letter of appreciation was received from the Solid Rock Food Closet. With donations from this Club and many others, they have been able to provide 29,237 bags of food or 193,500 meals served to 10,755 people in our county.

The March 23rd  bloodmobile was held at the Sparta United Methodist Church and once again surpassed its goal. A hearty thanks to all of the volunteers who participated in this event, which is sponsored by Sparta Lions Club.

Tom A. reported that 2,804 Camp Dogwood tickets have been sold to date. The blanket chest will be given to the lucky holder of a ticket to be drawn at our next meeting.

Doc E. and the Nomination Committee offered the following slate of officers for 2009-2010:

Allen Reinhardt, President; Marion Adams, 1st Vice President; Gill Thadani, 2nd Vice President; L. Roe (Al) Boyer, 3rd Vice President; Ellen Widener, Secretary; John Woodruff, Treasurer; Clarence Crouse, Assistant Treasurer; Ken Brady and Gill Thadani, Membership Co-Chairs; Faye Reeves, Club Historian; Everett Dukes and Chuck Bingham, Tail Twisters; Doc Evans, Lion Tamer; Keith Oliver and George Royall, 2009-2012 Board Members.

Jeff and Sharon H. presented a very informative review of exciting activities planned for the Alleghany County Sesquicentennial celebration. They distributed several fliers and a reprint of an 1889 edition of The Alleghany Star, the county’s first newspaper. Some of the events include a Brush Arbor Day activity and a Native American heritage exhibit at Crouse Park. Ernest J. is recording CDs of 150 local artists performing old-time music. Other activities are being finalized, including a raffle for a violin and dulcimer.

Don’t forget to keep John W. and Al B. in your prayers. Also, we are thankful for Lawrence’s positive attitude and determination.

Upcoming Events

Bob S. will attend the Leadership Institute April 16-19 in Memphis.

The Club’s Adopt-A-Highway project will need volunteers to clean our assigned 3-mile section of US 21 between April 18 and May 2. See Tom A. for details.

A called Cabinet meeting will be held April 19 at Longview Club in Claremont. The  purpose the meeting is to make a determination on minimally increasing membership dues.

Camp Dogwood Volunteer Day is April 21, where we will work on the grounds. Last year, approximately 50,000 hours were donated.

The State Convention will be May 2-3 in Raleigh. The car and other prizes will be given away on Sunday.

 “It’s nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.”

Author Unknown

February 17, 2009

News from the February 17 Meeting

Lions who have not paid their dues for the last quarter of 2008 or for the first quarter of 2009 are asked to see Clarence C. right away.

Doc E. stated that nominations for the upcoming fiscal year will be announced at the next meeting.

President Carolyn S. reported that Eldon J. had requested $1,500 to support the Boy Scout program because of a decrease in funding by the Old Hickory Council. Eldon spoke to the group during the dinner meeting and asked for donations, not only from the Club, but from the individual Lions. Eldon explained the purpose and goals of the Boy Scout program and stressed the need for financial help in order to keep the Scouting program in Alleghany County. Providing support to the boys through the Scouting programs instills responsibility for self and others and a desire to serve fellow Scouts and individuals.

A request for $125 sponsorship of a child to participate in the Alleghany Dixie Youth Baseball League was approved.

Camp Dogwood tickets and the money for ticket sales need to be turned into Tom A. very soon.

Bob and Carolyn wish to attend the International Forum in Memphis and requested help with paying part of the enrollment fee.

Four new Lions were installed by Allen R. with the assistance of George S. and David S.. Welcome, John and Janet G. and Steve and Diane Z. to Sparta Lions Club, a working family group.

Faye R. reported that she is ready to work on a scrapbook for the Lions and requested that anyone who could provide information, details or pictures see her.

John W. and L. Roe B. were missed. John is still not completely well. L. Roe has had pancreas surgery and hopefully is feeling better each day. We ask that everyone remember them in your thoughts and prayers. We are thankful that Lawrence M. is doing better.


One day a mother was out, and her husband was in charge of their 2 ½ year-old daughter. Someone had given the little girl a little “tea set” as a gift, and it was one of her favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when she brought him a little cup of “tea,” which was just water. After several  cups of “tea” and lots of praise for the yummy treat, mommy came home. Her husband made her wait in the living room to watch their daughter bring him a cup of tea because it was just the cutest thing! She waited, and–sure enough–down the hall came the little girl with a cup of tea for her daddy, and she watched him drink it up. Then she said, ”Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?”

February 3, 2009

Notes from the February 3 meeting:

All Sparta Lions are asked to attend the February 17 meeting. Please call those who haven't attended in a while and ask them to come. Of course, we want everyone to attend all of our meetings, but our next meeting is especially important! A photographer from The Alleghany News is scheduled to take a group picture. We want YOU to be included, so mark your calendar and be there!!!

At our last meeting, Allen R. presided in the absence of President Carolyn S.. She and Bob were presenting a program to the Lake Norman Lions Club members.

Tom A. welcomed Tom C. back to the Club. Tom reported that 91 books of Camp Dogwood tickets have been sold thus far this year.

Keith O. advised the Club of a man in the county who is in need of a hearing aid. Inquiries regarding this request will be made and findings reported at the next meeting. Ken B. asked about hearing aid donations; Allen reported sending four to Camp Dogwood.

Gill T. reported that the goal for the January 26 Bloodmobile was 30 pints - 45 pints were collected. WAY TO GO, ALLEGHANY COUNTY and Sparta Lions!

L. Roe (Al) B., who has been diagnosed with serious medical problems, was remembered by the group. Marion A. announced that Lawrence M. had taken his last chemotherapy treatment and had been pronounced cancer-free. Hallelujah!!!!! Several asked about John W.’s condition and expressed the hope that he would soon be able to return to our meetings. Please remember these fellow Lions and let them know we are concerned and care about them.

Four new prospective members were at the meeting - John and Janet G. and Steve and Diane Z. WELCOME!

Allen gave a brief synopsis of the work of our Lions Club and talked about past International presidents (two from NC) who had worked so hard for Lions. Several years ago, District 31 B had 1,200 members, but now there are only 740. The need for inducting new members is critical, especially young, energetic individuals!

Tom A. told newcomers to the county about the upcoming Heart Fund Auction set for Saturday, February 21 and 28. Among the many items to be auctioned is a blanket chest handcrafted by Tom. You can help this worthy cause by making donations as well as bidding on the exceptional collection of items that are available this year.

For the Record: As of 10/31/08, Lions Clubs International had 1,309,691 members in 45,083 clubs, and 743 districts in 205 countries and geographical locations.

“Deal with the faults of others as gently as with your own.” - Chinese Proverb  

Members who are absent are definitely missed...and meetings are more special when everyone comes. Please clear your schedule on the first and third Tuesdays, and join us at the Lions Club Pavilion.

January 20, 2009

Notes from the January 20 meeting:

Carolyn opened the meeting by thanking Clarence for picking up the new chairs and acknowledging how nice the room looks.

Everett made a motion, seconded by Clarence, to sell the old chairs for $5 each; the motion was approved.  Gill will purchase 25, with the remaining offered to members and to Frank, if he wants to auction them.

Allen made a motion, seconded by Doc, to send the balance payment of $2,850 for the White Cane Funds of NC; the motion was approved.  A payment of $2,050 has already been made.

Camp Dogwood tickets were distributed by Tom A. at the last meeting, and several books have already been turned in. The cost is $10 for a book of 12 tickets.  Volunteer work week at Camp Dogwood will be April 19 – 23.  Our club will go on Tuesday, April 21, leaving at 7AM and returning in time for the meeting that evening. Allen suggested the possible use of a Miles Companies 12-passenger van for the trip.

In the absence of John W., Clarence reported that the most recent bank statement reported $16,311.45.  There are still several Lions with dues in arrears.  Carolyn will send a reminder statement to those members.  John will prepare dues cards at a later date.

It has been decided to continue with the newspaper fundraiser.  More club members will have to be involved with the ad sales if the project is to be successful. We need YOU!!!

A membership drive will be held in the spring.  Carolyn will get with Allen and Ken on the particulars of that meeting.

Cabinet Meeting for the district was held at our club Sunday, January 18.  Our club had 10 members in attendance, with an estimated 40 at the meeting.  It was learned there is a proposal to raise member dues by $9 a year, making dues $42.25 per quarter.  If approved, this would change in July 2009.  The budget was adjusted to hold the membership dues increase to a minimum. Bob S. will be the District Governor in two years.  At this Cabinet meeting, he was nominated to serve on the NC Lions Council Foundation.

Allen made the motion, seconded by Joe, to put into the new club budget a $250 line item for transportation to the annual VIP fishing tournament; the motion was approved.  Only12 clubs out of 38 participated with funds for the transportation of this event.

Allen made a motion, seconded by Gill, to place an 1/8 page ad costing $75 for our Sparta Club; the motion was approved.

Doc made a  motion, seconded by Tom, to send the balance of program dues -  LCIF ($5.00 per member), Boys and Girls ($2.00 per member), along with the White Cane payment; the motion was approved.  We have 58 members.  Clarence will determine through John W. as to what amounts have already been paid.

Guest speakers for the evening:  D.W. Miles with Susan Reinhardt.

January 26, 2009

Notes from the January 6 meeting:

 A motion was made, seconded and approved unanimously that any request for a donation would require a formal presentation before the Club.

There was a discussion about the possibility of scheduling the Vision Van to screen school children.

Clarence C. announced that John W. is much better. He hopefully will be able to attend meetings soon.

Carolyn S. stated that everyone needs to think about ways to raise funds and possibly reducing the size of the newspaper - think about it and bring ideas to next meeting.

The bloodmobile will be at the Sparta United Methodist Church on January 26. Names of previous donors will be given to folks at the next meeting so members can call letting folks know about the blood drive.

The group decided to purchase 65 new chairs for the Club. After discussion, it was decided that covering the chairs was not a good idea. The old chairs badly needed painting, and several questioned how long a coat of paint would hold up.

Gill T. introduced David Evans, the Director of the Recreation Commission. Mr. Evans detailed prospective plans to build up the wetlands area near the former Andrews Trucking facility.  It would include an open-space park where folks in the community could walk their pets, play with their children, with a section to possibly be used for soccer practice. The school system's playing fields are overused and beginning to show damage. Martin Marietta has been kind enough to allow the use of their playing field for practice. The proposal includes a 4' asphalt trail across a bridge built over the creek to a handicapped landing. Total cost for the suggested project is $261,525, and Mr. Evans asked the Lions Club for a letter of support. The letter will be prepared. Mr. Evans went on to talk about his dream to develop a good hiking trail around the Sam Brown Mountain - no motorized vehicles allowed.

Tom Atwood handed out Camp Dogwood tickets and asked if each member could sell three books.

What Are Volunteers?

Volunteers are like Henry Ford . . . they have better ideas.
Volunteers are like Coke . . . they are the real thing.
Volunteers are like Pepsi . . . they have a lot to give.
Volunteers are like Hallmark cards . . . they care enough to give the best.
But most of all, volunteers are like frosted flakes . . . they are GRREEAAT!

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