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Peru Lions want to grow, serve and have fun doing it

PERU The Peru chapter of Lions Club International has been serving the community since 1945 and the organization wants to continue growing and serving Peru. On Jan. 9, the Peru Lions Club held a community information night to learn more about community needs and to inform the community about Lions Club activities. New York State Lions Membership Chairman Mildge Smith and District Governor Robert Walker assisted in the program. One person must have been impressed Judy McCarty Clodgo filled out a membership application at the conclusion of the meeting. Judy had been considering joining the Lions for some time. In fact, she has worked on the organizations Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot for the last six years and enjoyed it. I met a lot of people. The involvement makes you grow a bit," she said. Actually, Judy has been exposed to the Lions Club all her life. Her dad, Jim McCarty, has been an active Lion for almost 40 years and her mom, the late Marge McCarty, was the first female member of the Peru Lions. Asked why he has enjoyed his Lions membership Jim responded, Its the camaraderie and the fellowship. I enjoy the activities and the people Ive met here in Peru and around the district and the state. Ive met new people and its a way to contribute to peoples needs and still have fun." The 45-member club is well-known for several community service projects. The members gold or blue vests are often visible in the community. Supporting eyesight programs is a Lions Club-wide activity. The Peru Lions purchase eyeglasses for needy school students and also give financial support to the Albany Eye Institute and the world-wide sight programs of Lions Club International. Attempting to dedicate their work to the local community, the Lions have completed several repair projects at the Peru Free Library and were the first area organization to participate in the Adopt a Highway program. On the second Saturday morning of 10 months a year, committee chair Larry Ewald Sr. gathers about 10 members together to clean the roadside along Bear Swamp Road from State Route 22 to State Route 9. The Lions fundraising activities also enable them to assist the Peru Central School Band and Perus youth soccer and baseball programs. They are presently making plans to assist the community in developing its planned walking trail and Heyworth-Mason Park. The Lions Club is a service organization with no religious or political affiliation. The Peru Club has a diverse membership. The men present at the Jan. 9 meeting represented such occupations or industries as retail store owner, banker, pharmaceutical salesman, school teacher, package delivery, accountant, pharmacist, landscaper and government employee. Business owners often discover their Lions Club friends are some of their best customers. The worldwide Lions Club organization opened its membership to women in 1987. Marge McCarty was not only the Peru Lions Clubs first female member, she also rose to the high office of Lions Club District Governor, a position her husband also once held. Anyone wanting to join the Peru Lions Club should contact any member or Jim McCarty at 643-9775.

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