AMBOY — Under the leadership of Amboy Lion President Roger Wittenauer, the Amboy Lions Club enjoyed a busy and productive year.
The club began the year with the chartering of the Leo Club at Amboy High School. The Leo Club was up and running with 27 members under the leadership of its’ first president, Kaitlyn Ortgiesen.
The Lions Drop Box for eyeglasses, hearing aids, ink cartridges, Christmas lights and keys, painted by Lion Brian Florschuetz of Sublette Collision Center and lettered by John Morley of Morley Signs of Dixon, was installed in front of the Amboy Food and Liquor Store and has been used this year by many residents.
Scholarship applications were made available at AHS for the 2018 senior class.
The club welcomed new members Patti and Greg Ohlendorf.
Lion Jake Leffelman reported that the Amboy Lions Face book page has been a big success with hundreds of people viewing it on a weekly basis. Plans were begun for the first Community Health Fair to be held in the fall.
In mid March, preparations were finalized for the Cliff Walter Easter Egg Hunt. On a cold but sunny March 31, close to 200 youngsters scrambled through the park in search of Easter Eggs. Rose Day was held in late March and thanks to community support, more than 700 dozen roses were sold.
On April 15, the five Lee County Lions clubs and the Amboy Leo Club worked together to cook breakfast for the Mabley Center residents and their families. This event was organized by the Amboy Lions and all five Lions Clubs helped to fund it.
The Club purchased two AED’s and donated them to the Amboy Community Center and the Sublette Community Center.
In May, the Club presented five Amboy High School seniors with scholarships at the annual Honors Night.
In early June, the club donated to the Honor Flight to send a local area veteran to Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2019.
With the start of summer, the club began planning for the 39th Annual Depot Days Parade.
They donated $3,500 to the Amboy Veteran Park to help purchase flagpoles and lighting.
On July 23, Lions Club scholarship winners and their parents were honored at the scholarship dinner meeting held at the Amboy Community Center.
In August, Lion D-1 District Governor, Barb Stewart, installed the Amboy Lions 2018-2019 officers and inducted new members Mary Mays and Josh Nichols. On a hot and humid August 25, the 39th Depot Days Parade went off without a hitch and was well attend by an estimated 3000 spectators. The following day, Lions Club members helped to park cars at the Amboy Car Show.
In September the Amboy Lions Club lost long-time member, Lion James Braida, who fought a valiant battle against cancer. His service and dedication to club events will be missed.
On Sept. 8 the Amboy Lions and Leo club members volunteered to help at the Pulling For Ryon Fundraiser to help offset medical expenses for area resident, Ryon Richardson. The Amboy Lions Draw Down was held the following weekend. This event which is the main fundraising event for the Club was well attended and supported by the community again this year.
On Oct. 20, the Club held the first Community Health Fair. The Health Fair information was viewed by more than 3,300 on the Lions Facebook page and was very well attended.
In the fall, the club donated cases of water to the Amboy and Sublette Fire Departments.
The Amboy Lions sponsored a new Cub Scout Pack in Amboy Central School with Lion Wittenauer serving as the liaison. This group is now being formed.
In early December, the club received a donation from the Amboy Car Show Committee to be used to purchase additional AED’s and to help fund other Club projects.
Other donations throughout the year were presented to: Amboy Education Foundation, Amboy Student School Supplies, Baptist Food Pantry, St. Patrick Food Pantry, Center for Sight and Hearing, Amboy Fire Department Christmas Baskets, Diabetes Awareness, Vision Specialists, the Sublette Toy Show, and the sponsorship of a young person to attend the Lions summer camp for hearing and vision impaired.
As we conclude 2018 with the hanging of the wreaths on the Amboy Welcome Signs and the singing of Christmas carols at the Mabley Center, we wish the community a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.