The Tonasket/Okanogan Valley Lions Club is looking for new members as they enter their second century of service. Local club members joined clubs across the world in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Lions Club International.
“For 100 years, Lions have served communities around the world and improved the lives of millions of people,” said Lions Club member Janet Montanye. “That’s something to celebrate! As a Centennial Community Legacy Project, our club assisted three other club members from the Penticton and Okanagan Falls Lions Clubs in cleaning the Friendship Arch at the U.S./Canadian border.”
A Centennial sign, made by Montanye of DJL Designs, was installed at the arch.
Montanye said the Friendship Arch was erected in 1968 to show the fellowship between the U.S. and Canada.
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization, with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.
The Tonasket/Okanogan Valley Lions takes their motto of “We Serve” seriously.
Montanye said not only does the club serve the community of Tonasket, but all the communities in and around the Okanogan Valley for a total of 15 towns and rural communities.
“We serve our neighbors, family and friends by participating in local events such as assisting the Tonasket Comancheros Club with three events throughout the summer, Golf Scramble in July to raise money for a college scholarship program for area seniors with vision and hearing impairments and the Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk in October with proceeds going to the Leader Dog Program and local area rescues,” said Montayne. “At Tonasket Founders Day parade, we sell cotton candy, balloons and club buttons. At the Winter Fest in Tonasket the first of December, you will find us selling roasted chestnuts, hand warmers, baked goods and cider. We also have started an Annual Yard Sale to enhance our ability to donate and help the community. Our first Annual Yard Sale was in June.”
Montanye said donations by community members makes the yard sale possible, and thanked anonymous donors along with Kayla Gardinier, Shannon Larson, Al Biggs, Derek and Laura Stratton, Lacey Montanye, Al and Darlene Foster, Dan and Lorena Brownlee, Marci Hill, Jim and Joelle Hawkins, Jollie Evans, Brian and Kim Rhodes, Jain Johnson and Galen and Shannon Garoutte.
Montanye said some of the other activities sponsored by the Tonasket/Okanogan Lions Club are hearing awareness programs in local stores that sell equipment that could cause hearing loss, food drives for local food banks, a hearing aid and eye glasses assistance program, White Canes, Sponsor a Child for Camp Stix diabetes camp, Peace Poster Contest for ages 11-13, vision/hearing screenings at the Tonasket school and Paschal Sherman Indian School, Fire Relief for Okanogan County and Canada, and a prescription glasses collection program.
Montanye said the local Lions Club also donated to the Smoker Marchand sculpture in Eastside Park in Omak, to those impacted by the 2014 landslide in Oso, to Lions Club International Foundation Measles immunizations and Camp Hope for Veterans.
“These are the activities that have become an annual occurrence in our communities,” said Montanye. We will always be grateful for the support we have received from our community.”
“We would be able to do even more, if we had more members,” said local Lions Club member Patti Hill. “We are always recruiting new members. If you want to have fun and help the communities, feel free to ask us how to become one.”
The Tonasket/Okanogan Valley Lions Club meets every second and fourth Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Kuhler Bar and Grill at 302 S. Whitcomb Ave. in Tonasket. They can also be contacted at Tonasket/Okanogan Valley Lions Club, P.O. Box 120, Tonasket, WA, 98855.