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Lions Club settles chapter in Pine Tree, Spring Hill

By Richard Yeakley
Oct. 11, 2013 at 11 p.m.

A group of about 20 members chartered the newest chapter of the Lions Club this past week. The group will focus on and be housed in the Pine Tree and Spring Hill areas.

"I have heard of Lions Clubs all of my life, they have always been around ... they gave me some information about the club and what they do," said chapter Secretary Kim Anderson. "Their objectives are primarily to help blind people, but they also have a huge camp in South Texas, that services children with all kinds of disabilities ... and a club actually sponsors a child and sends them to a camp for a week and that was really exciting to me."

Anderson is one of the 18 active charter members. Of that group, only one had been a member of another chapter. The international service organization is based in Oak Brook, Ill.

Nancy Van Alstine, district governor for Lions Club District 2X2, which includes 20 counties including Longview, said she was delighted for the new chapter, which fills a hole created by the disbursement of a Spring Hill area chapter and several in the Pine Tree area.

"We know there are children in those communities that we simply cannot reach," said Van Alstine, saying that the other Gregg County chapters in Judson, Longview and White Oak would have difficulty identifying children in the districts that needed the help the Lions seek to provide. "We are just thrilled to death to have them, we think they are going to fulfill a need that has been missing in that community."

The Lions Club internationally has more than 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members.

The Pine Tree and Spring Hill chapter holds a lunch meeting twice a month at Olive Garden in Longview.

The group, made up of young to middle-aged professionals, began meeting in late June after leaders of the area Lions Club went to different organizations and pitched the service club. It was in one of these meetings that Anderson learned about the work done, especially for the blind or those with vision problems.

Since that time, they have begun planning their first service project and will soon work to provide glasses for children that need but cannot afford them.

Anderson said the chapter would work with a local optician to have children tested and fitted for glasses.

The group is actively seeking members, and encourage anyone interested in learning about the Lions Club to contact either Anderson at (903) 295-0896 or President Charlene Ingram at (903) 247-0393.



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