The Laveen Lions Club, an international community service organization with local chapters worldwide, is preparing for one of its largest annual events, the Heritage Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Laveen Education Center, 5001 W. Dobbins Road.
This year marks the Fourth Annual Laveen Heritage Car Show, which raises money to be used right here in Laveen for a variety of community service programs such as Christmas food baskets given to needy families each December, scholarships to local school children, vision and hearing testing for students at local schools, and many more.
Goodie bags are being given to the first 100 registered vehicles who sign up for the car show. Pre-registration is $25 up until the day of the event. Registration on the day of the is event $30. Registration includes a T-shirt and plaque for your dashboard.
Registration is open to all makes, models, years of cars and trucks. The top 15 entries will receive plaques, and trophies will be awarded for Best in Show, Best Paint, Best Interior, Best Engine, Best Low Rider, Best MOPAR, Ladies Choice and Holy Cow.
While browsing the vehicle entries, guests can purchase snacks and food from a variety of local food vendors. There also will be raffle prizes. Donate a nonperishable food time and receive a free raffle ticket.
Entry to the event is free. To learn more about entering, contact Art Downs at (480) 239-0886.
Please note that because the event takes place at an educational facility, alcohol, tobacco, and weapons are strictly prohibited.
Lions Club Community Services
The car show is just one of the many community programs the Laveen Lions Club sponsors, according to members Joe Roselle and Jeff Sprout. Both men also work for the Laveen Elementary School District.
Laveen’s Lions Club chapter has about 40 members who meet the first and third Thursdays at the Laveen Education Center (southeast corner of 51st Avenue and Dobbins Road). There are about 1.4 million members worldwide, making it the largest community service organization in the world.
“We do many service projects with the goal of supporting the Laveen community,” said Sprout, who is the 2017-18 club president. “We collect food in the late fall at the local schools that we distribute to needy families in December. We do a backpack drive each year, donating 40 packs to each of our eight elementary schools. We do vision and hearing screening at the local schools.”
“Our mission is to provide service to our community.”
Another of those contributions is scholarships to eighth graders who will be starting high school. The money they receive helps pay for books and materials not provided by their schools.
Annual Laveen Community Parade
Another major event organized and presented by the Lions Club is the Laveen Community Parade, which takes place each February. The 2018 parade will be the 18th to wind its way along Dobbins Road between 43rd and 51st avenues.
“It’s truly a unique event,” said Sprout, who has served as the parade chairperson for the parade for the last two years. “There are very few communities in the metro area that have annual parades to bring together schools, elected officials and leaders, community-based organizations, and businesses.”
Participants compete with floats that match each year’s themes, local sports groups, high schools, civic clubs, and more march along the one-mile route. Boy Scout troops join high school marching bands, who may follow behind dancing horses, or a float with local politicians and beauty queens.
“It truly brings our community together,” he said.
Entry is free for anyone who wants to participate in the parade. Email email@example.com for additional information.
Recruiting new Lions
Through the years as Laveen has grown, the club has given back hundreds of volunteer hours through the various community service events, and hundreds of dollars in scholarships. However, club membership hasn’t been keeping up with the growth in population. “We need to bring in more community members and business owners,” Roselle said, to continue the great tradition of service to Laveen.
- The 18th Annual Laveen Community Parade, sponsored by the Laveen Lions Club, is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. The parade route runs along Dobbins Road from 43rd Avenue to its end at 51st Avenue. For more information or to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Laveen Lions Club – Meets 7 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays at Laveen Education Center, 5001 W. Dobbins Road, Laveen.
Rose Tring is a long-time journalist and owner of AZ Media Maven, a Laveen-based public relations company. She is also the founder of FinditinLaveen.com, a local business directory, free community calendar, and forum for local news. Email her at email@example.com