By Jim Misunas
LARNED — It’s halfway to Christmas.
The Fort Larned Lions Club will sponsor its second “Christmas In July” food drive Friday. The Fort Larned Lions Club will sponsor a welcome coffee hour from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Larned Chamber of Commerce, 501 Broadway.
Fort Larned Lions Club members will collect food donations at the Larned Dillons store, 423 Main Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.
“Last year, we filled the truck and collected lots of food for the Christmas Project,” Lewis said. “Just as importantly, We got lots of publicity and heard from the people in the community how much they like this project. Our club members enjoy it. Last year was surprisingly successful. The community supported it really well. It will happen, but it will be more successful with everyone’s help.”
The Fort Larned Lions Club staged its first-ever “Christmas in July,” in 2014 by accepting donations of 919 food items and $350 in cash. In the past, the Lions Club did most of its work during the Christmas holidays.
The donations support the Fort Larned Lions Christmas Basket project, which has delivered food baskets and holiday cheer for 41 years. Club members visited more than 100 homes in the Pawnee County area last year. More than 350 children and adults benefited from the holiday project last year.
“When we met for our 40th anniversary last year in June, we discussed sponsoring a food drive in the summer after our donations were down last year,” said Steven Lewis, Lions Club member. “We were very pleased with the turnout and donations.”
Fort Larned Lions Club members work at the Larned Dillons store.
“We received a wide variety of food items and some people donated cash rather than purchase the items,” Lewis said. “We appreciated all the help we received. Their help will make a difference.”
Customers help local families in need by purchasing “Lions” marked items at Dillons. Customers who donate five or more “Lions-marked” items to the Fort Larned Lions Club Christmas in July project received an American flag and stand for the 4th of July holiday.
“A lot of people appreciate what we do on the Christmas baskets,” Lewis said. “It was nice to hear the personal feedback from people who are a part of our project.”
For more information, contact Lewis, 620-285-1609.