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November 27, 2019

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Farmer Lions Club Celebrates 50 Years
The Farmer’s Lion Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary on March 10, 2019. The club was chartered on January 27, 1969 and held it first meeting to elect officers on March 10, 1969. The formation of the club was sponsored by the Asheboro Lions Club and its members J.C Delk Jr., Wade Yates, Kenneth McDowell and Lacy Presnell, Jr. The new club consisted of 43 original members and met at the Old Farmer School.

The Farmer’s Lion Club began fund raising by going door to door selling the famous Lion brooms and light bulbs which are made by visually impaired workers, as well as Halloween candy. During the 1970’s fund raisers included selling concessions at the Old Farmer School baseball field, holding an annual Pancake Supper sponsored by Dainty Biscuit Flour in Franklinville, holding yard sales in Asheboro, hosting a Donkey Basketball Game in the Old Farmer School gym and selling hamburgers and hotdogs at the Mud Bog Race that was held at the location of the current Klaussner distribution center.

Beginning in the late 1970’s the Farmer Lions Club began attending the Asheboro Fall Festival as a vendor every year, selling country ham and sausage biscuits, corn dogs, drinks, hot coffee and Lions brooms. In 1987 the Farmer Lions Club began holding an annual Spring Bass Fishing Tournament at Badin Lake. The Spring Fishing Tournament was such a success that in 1990 the Farmer Lions Club added a second Fall Fishing Tournament, also held at Badin Lake and continues to hold both tournaments each year. Each year the Farmer Lions club also sells raffle tickets with the winner having the choice of either a shotgun or cash. The drawing for the winning ticket is held at the annual Christmas celebration each year in early December.

The Farmer Lions Club has always prioritized helping the local community first, helping on the state level secondly and on the international level thirdly. From the very beginning The Farmer Lions Club began its local community service in the early years by sponsoring a Little League Ball Team that played at the Old Cedar Grove Community Ballfield; sponsored a Round Robin Softball Tournament that was held at the Old Farmer School baseball field; sponsored Donkey Basketball Games in the Old Farmer School gym.

Over the years the service to our local community has included providing local people in need with free eye exams and glasses as well as hearing aids; assisting community residents who have found themselves in dire circumstances such as losing their house to fire, expensive  cancer treatments, etc.; providing fruit baskets at Christmas to our local seniors who have limited mobility; sponsored the Boys Club of Farmer; raising a substantial amount of money to assist a local three year old child who needed specialized eye surgery that had to be performed in New York, NY; adopting a needy family and providing Christmas presents for their children.

Over the years the service to our local community has included providing local people in need with free eye exams and glasses as well as hearing aids; assisting community residents who have found themselves in dire circumstances such as losing their house to fire, expensive  cancer treatments, etc.; providing fruit baskets at Christmas to our local seniors who have limited mobility; sponsored the Boys Club of Farmer; raising a substantial amount of money to assist a local three year old child who needed specialized eye surgery that had to be performed in New York, NY; adopting a needy family and providing Christmas presents for their children.

Over the years Farmer Elementary School has been the beneficiary of the Farmer Lions Club including assistance in building the playground in 1994 for the new school; purchasing and placing five seating benches in front of the school; purchasing books for the reading program as well as dictionaries for the 5th graders; donations for the backpack program for weekend meals for students; a Citizenship Award each year for a student. For the last 20+ years the Farmer Lions Club has held an annual vision screening for the students at Farmer Elementary School utilizing the NC Lions Vision Van. Not long after starting this program, the Farmer Lions Club realized there was a real need for vision screening of elementary school age children so their program was extended to include the Tabernacle Elementary School. Each year approximately 400 children from each school have their vision screened. Each child is given a standard vision screening using the exam cards. Any child who fails this initial exam is then escorted to the NC Lions Vision Van where vision exam equipment provides a more precise vision exam. Any child who fails this exam is referred to a licensed optometrist. If the child’s family cannot afford the needed follow up and/or glasses the Farmer Lions Club pays the bill. Initially the number of students failing the eye exam was a fairly high percentage but over the years we have been able to reduce that number to approximately 10% of the students needing re-examination on the Vision Van and of those students, approximately 6-8% are referred to a licensed optometrist.

The Farmer Lions Club also supports the NC Lions and their statewide programs such as Camp Dogwood, a camp for the visually impaired; the VIP Fishing Tournament held each year at Nags Head, NC for the visually impaired; the Vision Van and the Boys & Girls Home at Lake Waccamaw. On the international level the Farmer Lions Club supports Lions Clubs International with programs such as collecting used eye glasses which are reconditioned and given to the visually impaired in third world countries; the Leader Dog program providing seeing eye dogs; the White Cane program and the Lions Clubs International Foundation which provides relief in times of natural disaster around the world. 

Current leadership of the Farmer Lions Club includes President Lion Darren Brown, Secretary Lion Kent Elliott and Treasurer Lion Roger Smith. The Farmer Lions Club meets every second and fourth Monday night at 7:30pm at the cafeteria of the Farmer Elementary School located at 3557 Grange Hall Rd., Asheboro, NC.

The Farmer Lions Club welcomes any community members to attend our meeting where good food and fellowship is always abundant and free. The moto for Lions is “TO SERVE” and the Farmer Lions strive to live out that moto every day.