Nuts About Helping Others

Lakeland Lions Kickoff Annual Pecan Sale Fundraiser

Lakeland Lions Club members Cecil Tompkins and Ron Brandon help stack 1200 cases of pecans for the civic groups annual sale. Staff Photo.

Lakeland Lions Club members Cecil Tompkins and Ron Brandon help stack 1200 cases of pecans for the civic group’s annual sale. Staff Photo.

A light rain did little to dampen the spirits of members of the Lakeland Lions Club while they unloaded a tractor-trailer load of fresh “new-crop” Georgia pecans for the club’s annual fundraiser. Through their 33 years, the Lakeland club has raised roughly 1.2 million dollars to fund their Lion sponsored programs primarily through the sale of holiday pecans at many area businesses. While Lions Clubs are known for their efforts focused on sight-preservation and assisting the vision-impaired, the Lakeland Lions are active supporters of schools throughout 38002 and Lakeland community projects.

Barbara Fletcher, Lakeland Lions President, recalled the support she received as an elementary school principal from the club.

“I knew that if there was a student who couldn’t afford glasses or a family that needed assistance at Christmas, all we had to do was call the Lions and let them know, and they would take care of it,” Fletcher said. Fletcher explained that the Lions now have a mobile vision van that will be visiting daycares in Arlington and Lakeland in early 2015.

Pecan chairman Burt Faller estimates that the group will sell 30,000 bags of pecans before the sale ends in January. The Lion Club has developed a network of community businesses willing to sell pecans. “These places do it out of the generosity of their heart to benefit the community,” Faller said. “As the membership of our club has grown, our community partnerships have grown.” Lakeland Lions Club pecans are sold at area banks, grocers, dry cleaners, beauty shops, and credit unions.

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