Lions Club holiday shopping event benefits Greenville children


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:36 am on Friday, December 07, 2012

From left, Lions club member Bo Stephenson, 9-year-old Sarah Stephenson and 9-year-old Danielle Bursach look at their list of toys to purchase from Meijer in Greenville Thursday evening as part of a holiday shopping event put on by the Greenville Lions Club to collect toys for children in the Greenville area.

 

Lions Club member Rob Blanding, right, and his wife, Irene Blanding, fill their shopping car with toys at Meijer in Greenville Thursday evening as part of a holiday shopping event put on by the Greenville Lions club to collect toys for children in the Greenville area.

GREENVILLE — For 27 years, the Greenville Lions Club has joined forces with Meijer to give Greenville children a brighter Christmas.

Each year, for the holidays, the Lions Club holds a holiday shopping event at Meijer to purchase toys for Greenville-area children that are in need.

Dan Eagles, who has been in the Greenville Lions Club for about 40 years, said this event is important for the area.

“This year we have about 470 on the list,” said Dan Eagles, noting the number is about the same as last year; However, he was expecting the number to increase.

The event helps children through their fifth-grade year.

About 60 years ago, the Greenville Lions Club started getting involved in helping children during the holiday season by fixing and painting toys. For the last 27 years, they have partnered with Meijer to purchase new toys for the children.

“It’s important to give back to a great community,” said Jim Gardner, Meijer store director. “(Greenville) is a wonderful community.”

The committee for the holiday shopping event also includes Charlie Harrington, Roger Wilson and Carl Barberi.

Meijer cashier Hanna Crawly, left, places toys into a box marked “Boys 4-6″ as Meijer Service Team Leader Rose Christensen, right, scans additional toys purchased by the Greenville Lions Club Thursday evening as part of a holiday shopping event put on by the Greenville Lions Club to collect toys for children in the Greenville area.

Gardner presented the Lions Club with a $2,000 donation to help with the holiday shopping event. He said, with this particular event, all the money stays within Greenville.

“We love being a part of this event,” Gardner said. “We are proud to be partners.”

Along with the donation from Meijer, Eagles said this event is able to happen because of the generous donations from people within the community.

This year, the holiday shopping event will total about $12,000. Eagles noted the Lions Club did vote to use some of their own funds to cover the total cost because not as many donations had came in as in previous years.

“(The Lions Club) greatly appreciates the generous people of the Greenville community,” Eagles said. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without the generous community.”

Along with the toys, the children will be receiving handmade mittens and hats donated by knitters from the community.

“(This event) gives us the opportunity to do something for children who would otherwise go with this holiday season,” Eagles said of the holiday shopping event.

 

Members of the Greenville Lions Club, accompanied by family members and members of the Leo Lions Club, accept a check from Greenville Meijer Store Manager Jim Gardner in the amount of $2,000 to use for a holiday shopping event to collect toys for children in the Greenville area.

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