Ross O’Donoghue’s President’s Message

A colorful stack of newspaper ads I saw this week reminded me of the numerous beneficial programs provided to our county by the Rappahannock Lions Club.

The ads ran in The Rappahannock News for half a year, each one saying “Thank You” at the top, followed by a photo of someone benefiting from a service – a child getting a vision test, people stocking up on apple butter, a senior citizen getting a handicap ramp, a student receiving a scholarship, young musicians performing on stage, folks enjoying chili on a brisk fall afternoon. Longtime Lion Jim Blubaugh put the ads together to show the breadth of the Lions’ activities. He did not have to stretch to find 13 great examples.

As our club heads into its 58th year of service to Rappahannock County with a busy fall calendar, I take great pride as this year’s Lions President in sharing this review of our club’s commitment to service and to Rappahannock County.

Over those years our support for local activities, individuals and organizations has taken the form of hundreds of volunteer service hours as well as cash contributions.

Among the many local causes we support are the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the 4H Club, and Camp Fantastic’s Rappahannock County Day in support of children dealing with cancer. We host the BLAND music contest, so important for talented youth.

We’re here in every season: Fall apple butter sales, organizing parking for the Christmas in Little Washington Parade, springtime scholarships for deserving graduates, and offering our tent to provide shade for the Fourth of July.

We may well be best known for the Sight and Hearing Van that visits all local schools every year, both public and private. This service is complemented by the new early-detection technology called PEDIA VISION. We support education as well, through those college scholarships for deserving students and the Leo Club at our local high school, giving youngsters real insight into our community’s needs.

We can’t fix everything, but we really try to make as much happen as possible.

We make it fun and easy for you to support these causes, and we pledge 100 percent of what we raise is returned to the community. Our Lions Club Foundation is now a proud participant in our local United Way campaign. Generous local contributors pledged to the Lions in May’s Give Local Piedmont online day of giving. And we’ve raised more than $1,000 already this year from Amazon shoppers making their purchases through the Shop Like a Lion link, all donated to our vital volunteer fire departments.

Now we’re gearing up for this fall’s annual apple butter sales – look for us at Quicke Mart – as well as our fun ChiliFest and Raffle fundraiser Oct. 10 at the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Hall. Only 100 of the $150 tickets are sold; contact Lion Secretary Jim Manwaring at 540-987-8433 for tickets and information.

We are always on the lookout for men and women who want to answer the call to service and give a little time in support of Rappahannock County as members. This is my second go-around as Lions president, and I’m still impressed with the quality of our club’s men and women, their fellowship and caring. I’ll also vouch for the good times we have together. Contact membership chair Bud Meyer at 540-675-3629.

Look for us this fall and do come join us. We’ll definitely put you to work in a way that will make you proud.

Ross O’Donoghue, President