Big donations have been made by the Rincon Lions Club from proceeds from the first distribution of funds from the sale of their building to the city of Rincon.
Donations were made to the Mars Theatre construction fund through the Springfield Revitalization Corporation and to the Haitian relief effort, among other donations.
“The first donation we made was to the Mars Theatre,” said Lions Club President Vernon Gordy, “and then we’ve given checks like that to Haiti.”
They also donated to the Lighthouse for the Blind in Atlanta, which recycles eyeglasses. A group of Lions, some of them based locally and others from Ohio, were running a sight operation in Haiti.
“They put 2,600 pairs of glasses on the kids and adults,” Gordy said.
Gordy said the Lions Club started distributing the money right after the first payments from the city for the sale of their building. He said they are a service organization and are not there just to hold money.
“We’re going to give it all away,” he said.
The money for relief in Haiti is going through Lions International, and their check was sent out Monday. He said that by Tuesday the Lions Club International had collected over $500,000 and the amount was growing. He also said that a number of tents recently sent to Haiti from Sweden had been provided by the Swedish Lions Club.
Gordy said their first check for Haitian relief was for $5,000.
“If it keeps going, there might be more behind it,” he said. “We might slow up on some of the rest (of their donations) to see what’s coming off there. That’s an international project. If you can’t go, send some money – that’s the way I look at it.”
The local club only has five members remaining, Gordy said.
“We just don’t have the energy to put into promoting that building anymore,” he said.
Since the club wasn’t using the building and the last renter had moved on, now seemed like a good time to sell it, according to Gordy.
“It would be an asset to the city and we struck a deal with them,” he said.
The club will still manage the recycled paper boxes that they maintain in the area. Gordy said they raise a lot of money each year for eyeglasses and lenses. He emphasized that all the money they raise stays here in the county.
The Lions Club meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in a separate location. The club promotes a variety of community needs such as collecting eyeglasses and lenses for redistribution to people in need.
Contact Vernon Gordy, Larry Steese, or John Poythress for more information on the Rincon Lions Club.