Serving Murray and Calloway County for 77 Years
- KidSight: Our flagship community program offering free vision screenings for Pre-K and Head Start children. Last year the Murray Lions alone screened over 1700 children referring over 200 to local optometrists to correct early vision problems.
- Prescription Eyeglass Assistance: With the help of our local optometrist partners, we provide assistance with vouchers for glasses to the needy in our community.
- Murray Lions Community Skate Park: Our Centennial Service Project is completing Phase 2 of the community skate park.
- Scholarships: The Murray Lions endowment provided 16 scholarships to local high school students attending Murray State.
- Community Backpack Program: Purchasing food and providing labor to pack needed weekend nourishment for local school children in need of assistance.
- Leader Dog for the Blind: For 75 years Lions have contributed financially, identified people in their community who could benefit from Leader Dog’s services.
The Murray Lions Club is sponsoring two local high school band members to be part of the 2017 Kentucky Lions All State Band. These two students and others around the state will represent the Kentucky Lions by marching in the Lions Clubs International 100th Convention Parade on July 1, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Click on this link to give you an idea of the International Parade from the last convention in South Korea and some of the bands who participated.
The Kentucky Lions are honored to have Chris McGee, Band Director at Meade County High School as our 2017 Kentucky Lions All State Band Director. Chris is well known throughout the state and we are looking forward to Chris working with us.
The All State band members have a lot of activities planned for Chicago beginning with a two day Practice Camp, a chartered bus trip to Chicago, a sightseeing day in Chicago including Chicago style dogs and pizza, then the parade and other activities before heading back to Kentucky.
Exactly a week to the day the Phase 2 project for the Murray Lions Club Community Skate Park was completed, community and business leaders came to the park Tuesday to see the work up close and help the Murray Lions celebrate the completion of their Centennial project. Murray Lions President, Paul McCreary said “Lions Clubs International celebrates their 100th anniversary this year and each of the 46,000 Lions Clubs worldwide were challenged to complete a community project to celebrate this milestone.” The Murray Lions Club Foundation provided the financial muscle to push the Skate Park to the next level. Phase 2 marks the second in what is planned to be a three-part project to place ramps and equipment in the park, each one coming with a price tag of about $25,000. “The project could not have been completed without the community’s financial support and our Corporate sponsors from this past year; The Murray Bank, Thornton Heating and Air, Forever Green Lawn Care, Walmart of Murray and Chip Wynn Motors,” added McCreary.
However, it was who was not present for the ribbon cutting led by the Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce that may be at the center of the story. There were no skateboard enthusiasts at the Tuesday morning ceremony, but they came later in the day in droves. “You come out here in the afternoons, and you’re routinely seeing 30 or 50 skaters out here,” said Matt Falwell, a founder of the Murray-Calloway County Skate Park Board as well as the person who helped to lead the construction of the new ramp last week along with Lions past president, Doug Crafton.
That collaboration theme was prevalent at Tuesday’s ceremony, with Calloway County Judge-Executive Larry Elkins and Murray Mayor Jack Rose emphasizing it during their presentations. “When people work together, things get done,” Elkins said. “There is not enough tax money available these days to do what we want to do or, really, what we need to do, and it’s these public/private partnerships that make something like this a reality.” “These partnerships demonstrate the type of community we have,” Rose added. “I think that’s part of our culture here, too, and how we take care of the people here.”
All photos courtesy of Terry Little
The Renaissance Park in downtown Murray was officially dedicated Friday afternoon, and it was a proud day for Dan Miller, 18 months after he started the project.
“People have asked me about the name ‘Renaissance Park’ and what it means,” Miller said following the ceremony at the site at the intersection of South Fifth and Poplar streets. “It’s about the rebirth of our downtown.”
The Murray Lions Club adopted Renaissance Park as their 2016 community project with a founding donation and with the help of Murray Lions Doug and Vicki Crafton who worked to bring the grounds to fruition celebrated the dedication with City leaders on Friday afternoon. During the dedication ceremony, Miller formally recognized the efforts of Doug and Vicki Crafton of Forever Green Lawn Care that designed and prepared the facility .
Murray-Calloway Special Olympics Coach Chuck Williams (left) and Coordinator Laura Miller (center) were the speakers at a recent meeting of the Lions Club. In 2016 Special Olympics offered numerous sports, including basketball, cheer, bowling, golf, soccer, bocce, and track & field to disabled individuals ages 2 to 60-plus. In 2017 the sports of aquatics and flag football will be added. Over 100 special Olympians participated in the program last year, along with more than 50 nondisabled youth who partner in the fun through Project Unify. Also shown is Lions vice president Jim Gray (right).
The United Way of Murray-Calloway County and the Murray Lions are pleased to announce a partnership to help expand the gift of reading to more Calloway County’s preschool children.
In 1995, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.
“Through the Murray Lions KidSight program, the Murray Lions screen over 1,600 pre-K and Head Start children each year. The gift of reading is a natural by-product of our vision program and the target audience for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library mirrors our pre-K screening demographic perfectly” said Murray Lions president, Paul McCreary. “Through the Murray Lions flagship vision screening program, we feel the Lions can bring greater awareness to our Dolly Parton Imagination Library program” stated Gerald Washington, Executive Director of the United Way of Murray-Calloway County.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to over 80,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom! Currently over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to over 1,000,000 children each and every month. Already statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.
The targeted audience for the joint partnership includes more than 200 children from 3 months to 5 years old in approximately a dozen daycare centers and head start programs throughout Calloway County for the remaining school year.
The Murray Lions Club Foundation board voted unanimously to fully fund the Murray Lions Community Skate Park – Phase 2 as their Centennial project celebrating the 100th anniversary of Lions Clubs International. Paul McCreary, Murray Lions president said “while our annual fundraiser did not raise all the funds needed to complete all of the second phase, our Foundation board is prepared to fully fund this phase of expansion, but we are asking for the community’s continued financial support to help replenish the Foundation’s unrestricted funds that will be used to insure completion in time for summer use of the skate park.”
The Murray Lions Community Skate Park has become one of the most used year-round, lighted facilities in Murray’s Central Park. The Murray Lions presented the plans to the Murray-Calloway County Parks Board on January 23rd and the plans were unanimously approved.
The Murray Lions will purchase the equipment from Rampage, LLC in Bridgeport, CT and arrange for transportation to Murray. The Murray Lions will then formally gift the equipment in-kind to the Murray-Calloway County Parks while Matt Falwell has generously agreed to oversee the installation of the equipment on the current Murray Lions Community Skate Park site.
The Murray Lions Foundation also supports other valuable community services such as prescription eyeglasses, Leader Dogs for the Blind, the community backpack program and our signature cause, KidSight which provides for free vision screenings for our community’s pre-K and Head Start children.
To help our Foundation complete the funding for our Centennial project we can include you as a 2017 Corporate Sponsor for a $1,000 donation, or we can include you as a 2017 Century Club member for $100 payable to the Murray Lions Club Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 organization. Since 1939 the Murray Lions have made a commitment to our community and are hoping you can help us complete our stated Centennial mission. Donations can be made online by clicking here or mailed to the following:
The Murray Lions Club Foundation
PO Box 161
Murray. KY 42071
The Foundation’s KidSight program has won the 2017 Region IV Head Start Association Corporate Award. What started as a pilot program spearheaded by the Murray Lions KidSight coordinator, Terri Long, KLEF with the support of Lions Club International Foundation, Louisville Downtown Lions Club, and Lions of Kentucky, collaborated with the Kentucky Head Start Program in May 2015 to provide free vision screenings to head start children throughout the state. Because of the partnership over 12,000 head start children were screened during FY 2015-2016.
The award is very significant as the Region IV Head Start Association (RIVHSA), founded in 1986, is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving the quality of early care and learning for Early Head Start and Head Start children and their families in 8 affiliate states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. RIVHSA represents more than 165,000 children, 30,000 staff, and 250 member programs.
This collaboration enhances the Foundation’s outreach to children and families in need of screenings and promotes quality vision care throughout the Commonwealth. The Foundation is very excited about the success of the partnership with the Kentucky Head Start Association and looks forward to its continued growth in future years.
The Murray Lions Club, with help from several other groups in the community, recently packed 1,000 “backpacks” that will be distributed to underprivileged students that may lack weekend food at home through the Murray and Calloway County Family Resource Center. Over 40 people participated in the effort, including members from the Murray Lions Club, Murray Woman’s Club, Woodmen of the World, Sigma Chi Fraternity, and the Lions Business branch. The project was funded by the Murray Lions Club Foundation which contributed $2,500 from its fall fundraiser to purchase items for the distribution.
At a recent meeting of the Lions Club, Sierra Club member Nancy Phillips informed Lions of the international ecology problem created by the use of thin plastic bags, such as those used by most grocery and department stores. According to Phillips, perhaps as many as one trillions such bags are utilized each year worldwide and since the non-biodegradable bags are generally not recyclable, they end up in landfills, making up over 12 percent of total municipal waste, as well as in storm drains, rivers, and the oceans. Numerous cities around the world (and the entire state of California) have outlawed single use plastic bags, while others have placed a tax on their use. When three European countries placed a tax on plastic bags in 2002 usage dropped by 94 percent within a few weeks. Phillips (left) and Lions vice president Jim Gray (right) are shown holding a bag containing 500 of the single use plastic bags.
A reminder to the Murray community you can drop off plastic single use bags at the Bill Wells Make a Difference Day on Saturday, January 14th at Roy Stewart Stadium.
The Murray Rotary Club along with the Murray Lions Club with generous contributions from Culver’s of Murray are sponsoring a pancake breakfast supporting the Special Olympics of Western Kentucky’s Polar Plunge and 5k on Saturday, February 11th from 8AM to 10AM at Culvers in Murray.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation is open to all individuals eight years of age or older. Training and competition in local, area, state, and national programs is offered year-round in 15 sports in Kentucky.
The Polar Plunge is one of the biggest Special Olympics fundraisers of the year. The Plunge is a truly unique event and includes a fun, festive atmosphere with food and great prizes. The Plunge works just like a Walk-a-Thon, but with one big twist. Participants still solicit donations to support their effort (a BEAR minimum of $75 to take part or $50 for Junior Plungers), but instead of walking, Polar Bears take a chilly dip into the lake at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park.
In 2016, the Polar Plunge raised more than $92,000 to support the efforts of Special Olympics athletes despite terrible weather and travel conditions.
This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 at the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park and again is joined by the Polar Plunge 5k, which will run a beautiful route through Kentucky Dam Village State Park that same day.
For more information on the Polar Plunge and 5k, contact Laura Miller at 270-293-9054 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Tickets for the pancake breakfast are $6.00 and available from any Murray Rotary Club or Murray Lions Club members or tickets can be purchased at Culvers the day of the breakfast.