Where there’s a Grafton Lion, there’s a way

Pandemic restrictions fail to keep club from pursuing its mission of helping others

THE GRAFTON LIONS Club is gearing up to host community activities after a nearly yearlong hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. In June, the organization is planning to hold a drive-through chicken roast, which is typically the club’s biggest fundraiser. Last February, (left photo, from left) Lions Jack Reindl and Harvey Holzer distributed 50/50 raffle tickets during the club’s annual bowling tournament. (Right photo) Lions Ryan (left) and Bob Rieck flipped chickens on a giant grill during the club’s 2019 chicken roast. Press file photos
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton Lions Club has had to curtail its civic activities and fundraising events in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic. But now, members are gearing up to return to business as usual, albeit in a new way to adapt with the times.

“We’re progressing from the point where we didn’t do anything to now we’re doing some things,” club member Dan Delorit said.

Delorit and fellow Lions members Tom Krueger and Dave Antoine said they are planning to revamp the annual chicken roast on June 13 by turning it into a drive-through event. The event is usually the group’s largest fundraiser, bringing in about $10,000, but last year the roast was canceled. 

“We’re going to rely on pre-orders this time,” Krueger said.

Events such as the club’s Breakfast with Santa, golf and nine-pin tap bowling tournaments and beer tasting were also canceled in 2020, but local Lions didn’t let that stop them from giving back to the community.

Members continue to help install wheelchair ramps at houses at no cost to the homeowners and are planning to conduct vision screenings for students at Grafton schools.

“I think the people in our club want to make a difference any way we can,” Delorit said. “Although we couldn’t do a lot of things we did in the past, we still want to help in a small way.”

Although many of the organization’s fundraisers were put on hold, the club used a contingency fund for donations to organizations such as Ozaukee Family Services, Family Sharing of Ozaukee County and the Grafton fire and police departments, and also provide scholarships for  Grafton High School seniors and fund improvements to Lions Park. On average, the club donates a total of $27,000 each year.

“It’s about giving back and helping others. It makes us feel like we’re an important to the Grafton community and Ozaukee County,” Antoine said.

Prior to the pandemic, the club held two membership meetings each month, during which other civic groups would give presentations and members would discuss club activities. Now, there is one monthly meeting, and turnout is down by about 50%.

The majority of the members are retired men, with 10% of the club made up of women. The club is seeking younger members, noting that they don’t have to be Grafton residents to help the cause.

“We understand that a lot of younger people have families and careers,” Krueger said.

“But we think our organization is a great way to learn more about what is going on in Grafton and anything you do can make a difference.”

For more information, visit www.graftonlions.com.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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