Members of the Clinton Lions Club have one goal — to serve members of the Sampson County community, as well as the many others across the world.
With just two days left before the big day, members of the local service organization gathered for a regular meeting above the deli section at the Piggly Wiggly in Jordan Plaza. Monday night’s agenda was to finalize everything for Thursday’s fish fry. And enjoy each other’s company and a good meal too, or course.
The local service organization will be hosting their bi-annual fundraising event, a fish fry, Thursday, April 28, at the Agri-Exposition Center. All proceeds from this event will be used towards service projects sponsored by the club. As the world’s largest service club, the more than 1 million national members work to help local communities and the local club isn’t any different. According to Clinton Lions Club member Diane Westerbeek, the project the club is most known for is the collection of eyeglasses.
While the club helps nationwide, members of the Clinton chapter say they work hard to support the community around them and have been doing so for more than 50 years.
“We help locally,” Clinton Lions Club member and Register of Deeds Eleanor Bradshaw said. “We have been doing more locally over the years.”
According to Westerbeek, the club has collection containers spread around Clinton to collect used eyeglasses and lenses to be processed and sent around the world to help those in need of assistance seeing. Tomorrow’s fish fry helps support this project, she added, as well as the many other projects the local club is involved in. In addition to purchasing eyeglasses, the proceeds from the fish fry help pay for tuition for camp for the visually impaired, eye examinations and a fishing tournament.
“There are a lot of services offered through the Lions Club,” Westerbeek said.
The local Lions Club also provides scholarships with some of the proceeds from the fish fry, as well as providing funds for the Backpack Buddies program that assists nearly 250 children in Clinton City Schools on a weekly basis.
According to Westerbeek, Backpack Buddies sends qualifying children home with a gallon size bag full of food every Friday afternoon to help with feeding over the weekend. Some students in CCS, grades K-6, are sent home with the food every week while school is in session.
“We only have these two fundraisers every year,” Westerbeek said. “So, it’s very important for the community to support us. Everything we collect goes out locally.”
Fish plates will be catered by Sandpiper Seafood and include fish, slaw, potato salad and hush puppies. Plates will be available for dine in or take out. Tickets may be purchased in advance from and Lions Club member of can be purchased at the event. Lemon pies from Beth’s will also be sold whole or by the slice.
“You do not have to pre purchase a ticket,” Westerbeek said.
Service will be from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. at the Agri-Exposition Center.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.