The last week of June marked the beginning of a new year for the Kilgore Lions Club as newly-elected officers took on their new posts.
“We’re going to try to do something this year,” new Kilgore Lions Club President Chester “Chet” Garner said. “I’ve got a good board beneath me.”
Specifically, Garner said, he would like to see the Lions Club members do more in the community and represent with their vests to help the club become more visible in Kilgore. People want to join a group to help their community, and Garner wants to be able to show people what it is exactly the Lions Club does and how they can help by joining.
“We’ve got something every month from now until next year,” he said.
Two of those events will be membership drives, while others are helping at or hosting different community events – both fundraisers and volunteer work.
Garner and his wife, Linda, have helped create “ripples in the water” to help the club become more active in the community again.
“They don’t want us to change anything. They want us to just get it going again… What I’m doing is just trying to kind of push them a little,” he said.
Immediate Past President Ty Sharp helped establish a new fundraiser for the club with a spring carnival in April.
“I think we made it through the year pretty well,” Sharp said. “I feel that we’ve done some good things this year with the addition of the carnival in April and the Super Bowl pot in January. One of my goals was to look for something that we could do in the spring as a fundraiser to kind of tide us through the year.”
Garner said he plans to continue both fundraisers next year and hopefully continue growing the carnival as a community event.
“We saw on that Friday night that there were a lot of people that really enjoyed that,” Sharp said.
Sharp’s outgoing challenge to the club members was to gain new members.
“I really want to encourage us to continue to try to lure new members who can help us fulfill our motto of ‘We Serve,’” he said. “That’s what we’re here as a Lions Club to do is to serve our community, and I think we do a very good job of that, but we need more and younger members to help us in that task.”
Historically, Garner said, the Kilgore Lions Club was the largest club in the district, and he would like to see it reach that pinnacle again.
Eventually, Garner said, he would like for the club to adopt a project in the city, whether it is establishing a new structure or helping clean up a park.
During the June 29 meeting, Garner presented Sharp with a plaque commemorating Sharp’s second round as president, after a 30-year gap. Sharp took over as president after Dennis Williams accepted a job with Longview ISD, making it more difficult for him to attend the weekly meetings.
Lions Club International Past District Governor Don Francis visited the Kilgore club to install each member of the new board of directors.