Northampton Press

Friday, February 28, 2020
Press courtesy of Wayne BenningerMembers of Lehigh Township Lions Club get ready to deliver 225 Christmas fruit baskets to Lehigh Township residents, age 60 and older, who live alone. Press courtesy of Wayne BenningerMembers of Lehigh Township Lions Club get ready to deliver 225 Christmas fruit baskets to Lehigh Township residents, age 60 and older, who live alone.

Lehigh Township Lions Club helping residents for 65 years

Thursday, April 21, 2016 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

Sixty-five years ago, Lehigh Township Lions Club was formed and, ever since, has been actively fundraising for the benefit of the community, said Wayne Benninger, community action committee chairman.

The club is part of District 14-K, which covers Lehigh and Northampton counties. It has 35 members.

The major focus of Lions clubs are on sight and hearing. Helen Keller challenged the Lions at their eighth convention in Sandusky, Ohio, to take it as a project.

Keller became a terror when she became deaf and blind before her second birthday. Her parents finally got Anne Sullivan as a personal teacher for their daughter.

There was an Association for the Blind, but it was of more benefit for older children and veterans. After hearing Keller speak, the project by Lions took off providing camps for the blind, white canes, eyeglasses and braille publishing. Melvin Jones of Lions International became a major backer.

Anyone displaced as the victims of a fire or other needy residents can get help, Benninger said.

The Lions provide 20 scholarships for seniors at Northampton Area School District. Those who receive the scholarship have to complete their first semester in college before receipt.

A tractor trailer is used for storage of medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, crutches, shower benches and hospital beds. People can borrow the items and keep them as long as needed when they should be returned.

People living alone and 60 or older individuals receive a fruit basket at Christmas. Last year was the 42nd year for that project. Baskets were prepared and delivered. Fruit is purchased at C&C in Palmerton. Two hundred to 240 baskets are delivered each year.

A coke and hot dog stand is the fundraiser for Dream Come True by participating at Becky’s Drive-In festival. Manpower is also provided for this project.

Lions have participated in PennDOT’s Adopt a Highway program for at least the last 10 years to “Keep Lehigh Township Beautiful.” The club picks up trash along a section of Blue Mountain Drive.

The club fills a quota of donations to the Miller-Keystone blood bank.

Obviously, these many benefits require fundraisers. By holding events at the fire company, it contributes to Lehigh Township Fire Company also.

There is a bowl-a-thon at the Democratic Club in Danielsville with pledges made for the number of pins knocked down.

An annual Night at the Races is held at Lehigh Township Fire Company with the races shown on a screen.

A community pork roast is held at Indian Trail Park in Pennsville.

Four times a year, members handle tickets at the gate and parking for the Lorah tractor and truck pulls.

To support your community and become a member of Lehigh Township Lions Club, contact Donald Kuntz at 610-767-2335 or any other member of the Lions Club. Of course, your continued support of fundraisers also is appreciated.

“People in the township are aware of what we do. That is why we get such good support,” Benninger said.

Lions are known for their compassion and are viewed as an active and important part of the community, he said.