Lions Aid Bridge City with Funds, Food and Toys
After Hurricane Ike destroyed Bridge City, the Lions Clubs put their ALERT program into action. The Lions provided money for food, toys for children, and assisted in distributing clothing. They proved that “We Serve” is more than just a motto, it is a way of life.
Travis Nation, president of the Bridge City Lions Club also serves as the Lions ALERT chairman for the southern portion of District 2 S-1. The ALERT program is designed to provide Lions with a standardized structure and network to deliver needed services to people in emergency situations. After Hurricane Ike hit Bridge City, Nation surveyed the situation and assessed needs that could be assisted by the Lions.
When Nation was contacted by the District Governor Harold Yost, he was able to give information that enabled Yost to make a request from the Lions Club International Fund Emergency Grant for Natural Disaster Recovery Assistance. The Lions Club International Fund awarded $10,000 to be used in the affected area.
Vice District Governor Charles Tarver had the job of distributing the funds among Bridge City, Orange, Fannett, Winnie and Sabine Pass.
Tarver and Robert Blackburn, a Lions Zone chairman, from Beaumont met Nation in Bridge City at the food distribution facility and after talking to the persons in charge immediately made a trip to purchase food as requested.
The original allotment of funds for Bridge City was $2,000, but after seeing the needs Tarver was able to attain more funds for food supply.
Members of the Bridge City Lions Club assisted in serving the prepared food on several occasions.
When clothing for children was distributed at the Middle School the Bridge City Lions Club members assisted in the effort. Among other Lions Clubs that aided that day was the Leo Club from LC-M High School, and their sponsor Pam Crew. Leo Clubs are for students age 12 through 18. Most Leo members become Lions after they reach the maximum age for Leos.
Lions Clubs in District 2 S-5, an area that extends roughly from Madisonville to Gonzales, north to south, and Sealy to Giddings, east to west, heard about the situation in Bridge City and their thoughts turned to the children.
After learning that many children had lost most, if not all of their toys in the flooding, there was an idea for toys to be donated to the children of Bridge City. Under the guidance of District 2 S-5 governor John Rauser, “Christmas in October” was born.
Rauser posted a request on the district’s Web site for donations of toys and Meredith Franks and Ed Mardis rounded up the toys and made plans to deliver them to Bridge City.
On the day of the distribution the Lions of District 2 S-5 left Giddings and Bryan at 4:30 a.m. in order to be in Bridge City in time to unload toys and start the distribution at 11 a.m.
The clubs from Bridge City, Orange, Little Cypress and Pinehurst assisted the clubs from Giddings and Bryan. The Lions distributed over 1,500 toys to grateful children and their families.