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The Lion's Club assesses needs of the community

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The Bellbrook Lion’s Club is dedicated to helping the community in areas that not only improve area sporting facilities but also residents’ needs as well, such as eye glasses for youth and assistance for seniors. This month, the Bellbrook Lion’s Club assessed the needs of the community and made a plan for future donations in the areas that need the most help. The club’s President presented the needs to the City and the Township for their support.

“This community is blessed because it has a lot of benefits not seen elsewhere,” Bellbrook Lion’s Club’s President, Gregg Sparks said. “We still have needs, but not like you would find in other locations. We have excellent schools and the services and we recognize that. But, we did isolate three things that would strengthen the community.”

The assessment determined that the Bellbrook/Sugarcreek area are in need of a place central location where community members can come together in a variety of possible venues; such as summer concerts, festivals, youth activities, performing arts, and more. It also determined that the area has a slow development of park district infrastructure, with constrained tax revenue, commensurate with community growth linked to youth and adult sports and recreation. Lastly, it was determined that the community is in need of a central location to retrieve community information for activities and events.

“We had to look at our club internally, assess the membership and also look outward to the community and identify some needs,” Sparks said. “Are there things out there that you could be doing as Bellbrook Lion’s Club under community service? So, in December we kicked this thing off and had a series of meetings with the parks, schools, and community leaders for input on the community needs assessment.”

After receiving over 60 inputs from members of the club and the community, the Bellbrook Lion’s Club sifted through the needs to come up with the three most important areas of need and is working on plans to get the issues resolved and provided the club with a straight forward focus on where their donations will benefit the most.

Part of the mission statement of the Bellbrook Lion’s Club is to “empower volunteers to serve the community, encourage youth and promote health and we believe that the community.” That is what they continue to do and their work and dedication to the community is seen and appreciated everyday from the community and leaders.

“We take the position that whatever is in the community, we try to be the builders of community spirit, help local youth, advance the community and community health,” Sparks continued. “Our dedication to eye health is one of the things that the Lion’s Club is known for and an infrastructure – anywhere you see a Lion’s symbol – we have helped with the construction of that, and are very proud of that.”

The Bellbrook Lion’s Club Annual Festival alone generates over $30,000 in revenue a year. That is money they use to adopt a highway, sponsor blood donations twice a year, provide eye glass, provide assistance with the seniors and disabled of the community, help with youth and adult sporting needs, host an annual pancake breakfast, offer camps for the handicap, donate over $2,000 a year to the police and fire departments, and two scholarships a year to seniors graduating from Bellbrook High School.

Now, knowing the needs of the community, the Bellbrook Lion’s Club is looking into solutions into the three needs areas to come up with future plans.

For more information regarding the Bellbrook Lion’s Club or to become a member of the club, visit the club’s website at www.bellbrooklions.org.

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