With the Christmas banquet season in full swing, Lamont and I had the pleasure of attending the Brilliant Lions Club holiday dinner recently at the Brilliant Christian Church social hall.
I was totally amazed at the activities accomplished by the 41 members during the 2011 year and will list some of them right now.
The Lions purchased eight coats for school children, donated to the Mingo Social Services for food baskets and to the Presbyterian church for electric when holding their spaghetti dinner fundraiser and purchased two roasters for the church.
Opening presents were, front, from left, Lori Crow, Rachel Farrister, Lillian Wilson and back, Chris Crow, Erin Wilson, Mike Wilson and Eddie Wilson.
Angel tree gifts were purchased, money was donated to the local food pantry, two dead trees were cut down at North Park, and members made up 37 food baskets and donated toward the Christian Youth Group for mission trips.
A steak dinner was held as a fundraiser, the 60th anniversary was observed with 79 in attendance, and three memorial bricks were purchased. Money was donated toward Buckeye Boys State, Bob Oberman was nominated for a Melvin Jones award, and eyeglasses were purchased for a youth in need.
Members cleaned ramps, five attended the Warren Township Charter night, a broom and knife sale was held at the many fundraisers, scholarships were given to Anthony Cody and Jacee Tester and members cleaned the Hilliards lot.
A donation was made to the all state band, cleaning was done around the Buckeye North schools, and gutters and downspouts were put up at the park shelter. They attended a Pirates baseball game as a group, turned in 210 pairs of glasses, fixed the roof at the shelter house, patched a wall at the school, received $1,200 from American Electric Power in the "Dollar for Doers Program," donated toward a wreath for 911 services and donated toward the school cross country team.
Members toured the Cardinal Plant, held an annual picnic for members and family, donated to Parade of Checks, trimmed a resident's tree, put mums and corn shocks in planters, installed a bench at the school, held a spaghetti dinner, held a door-to- door broom and light bulb sale and donated to the Urban Mission's Thanksgiving campaign.
The club took in four new members this year: Susan and Jerry Nolan, Randall Craven and Dave Risdon.
It was wonderful to see Martha Bradley, the mother of Margaret Nichoson and wife of Lion president, Ralph, who claims he enjoys keeping busy, so the many projects suit him fine in his retirement.
Ralph told of visiting Belva Dell Sindlinger in Columbus, 100 years old but still tutoring school children two days a week.
She was a teacher at the old Washington School and then Buckeye North Elementary. Her husband, Robert, was the Buckeye North science teacher and a member of the Lions.
I discovered that James Fleming is related to Joann Fleming, with a married name I have forgotten. She worked at the Herald-Star and relieved me at the switchboard when the office was on Fourth Street, next to the long past Fort Steuben Hotel. She is now living in Florida, he tells me.
Jayne and Ron Brandfass are friends we would see frequently on bus trips taken with Lea Bickerstaff.
Erin Wilson was one of those bus trip members, too. She was at the dinner with her husband, Mike, who was passing out Christmas presents, and I believe with her son, Eddie.
Jack Campbell was wearing his bright red Lions tie. Lamont had on his Santa tie, and Todd Henry wore a cartoon character tie exclaiming "Because my wife said so."
The singing group of Bob and Rita Cline and her brother, Fred Postlethwaite, provided Christmas carols, but Fred also sang a request, "The Long Black Train."
There are other dinners to come. I look forward to each and every one. It saves cooking, and I get to see old friends and meet new ones.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)