Bud Dauphin, from Schaaf Floral and a member of the Fridley Lions, along with Lions President Tom Bourque present a check for $3000 to Jim Huff, Executive Director of Cars For Neighbors, with Metro North Chamber President, Lorie Higgins.
The Fridley Lions Club of Fridley, Minnesota had a banner year in fundraising. With that money they help scores of non-profit organizations in the Fridley area. One of these is Cars For Neighbors which repairs and furnishes cars for single mothers who are stuck with no way to get to work or a person who is just down on their luck.
Cars For Neighbors also works with Stepping Stone Emergency Housing, the only homeless shelter in Anoka County. They either repair or give a car to someone breaking out of the cycle of poverty and has a job, but no way to get to it. When Stepping Stone makes the request, Cars For Neighbors knows the person has been prequalified. “It’s a great partnership,” said Jim Huff of Cars For Neighbors.
The Lions Club also supplies more than $40,000 to Fridley High School each year for scholarships for graduating seniors. They also help out neighboring communities Spring Lake Park, Coon Rapids and Columbia Heights high schools to a lesser degree. The club is in the process of giving $250,000 to the Springbrook Nature Center to assist in their expansion efforts. More than 30 school districts and 12,000 students use Springbrook as part of their curriculum.
The club is also setting up a Foundation to be used solely for student scholarships, Scouting and Youth Sports. This is an ongoing project spearheaded by Lion Ron Ackerman, a two time president of the Fridley Lions. And finally, the Lions Club has just added a new project, Open Arms of Minnesota. They will start soon in delivering meals to Fridley residents with debilitating disease such as HIV, ALS, MS and cancer. The food comes from Open Arms and will be delivered to St. Philips Church in Fridley. The food will be paid for by the Fridley Lions Club and delivered to the recipients by the Lions. The Lions Club motto “We Serve” certainly comes shining through. These are just a few examples of a much bigger donor list that the Lions assist.
Each year the club actually attempts to empty it’s treasury by June 30th, the end of it’s club year and start over. Lion President Tom Bourque said, “It’s a fun job to give money to people and organizations that are doing so much good.” “And Lion Bourque and I know these folks because the Fridley Lions and Schaaf Floral are members of the Metro North Chamber of Commerce as are many of these non-profit groups. We see and know how hard they work, so it truly is fun to be able to help them in their efforts,” Lion Bud added.