Coon Rapids Lions hosting open house, pig roast

Fun and information will be on tap tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 7) when the Coon Rapids Lions Club hosts its Lions at The Park open house and free pig roast event at Lions Coon Creek Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

This open house kicks off the 60th anniversary celebration for the club and is not only for educating the public on what the club means to the community, but is also an opportunity for the public to enjoy the park that the club has contributed to financially and volunteered at for many years, according to Lyle Goff, public relations, Coon Rapids Lions Club.

Booths at the open house will highlight an activity or event that the Lions club performs in the community, giving the attendees the opportunity to learn more about what the volunteer organization is all about.

While visiting the booths, participants can earn Pride Bucks which can be turned in for a free meal prepared by UP NORTh BBQ. There are approximately 250 free meals being prepared and everyone is encouraged to bring their appetites, Goff said.

In addition to the information booths and games being manned by the Lions, there will be other exhibits.

Representatives from Camp Courage, Camp Friendship, Boy Scout Troop 415 and the Explorer Scouts – Swim Post, long-supported causes by the club, will be on-hand with information about their programs.

Also appearing at the fourth annual event will be representatives from Stepping Stone Emergency Housing, Mary T, Inc., the Coon Rapids Fire Department with its kitchen fire demonstration at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., plus Coon Rapids K-9 Officer Mark McDonough with his partner Buddy with a demonstration at 2 p.m.

Games and activities at the open house include a memorial garden tour, a photo opportunity for attendees to be a Lion, Rockin’ Rocco’s scavenger hunt, treat wheel of knowledge, fishing for fun, pancake toss and chipping in for service.

Some of these games are tied into some club projects and activities such as Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs, an annual kids’ fishing clinic, and the club’s annual visits to the nine local elementary schools to play Books For Bango with the students where the prizes are a new book for each player.

There will also be an exhibit showing some of the work done by one club member, Tim Beckwith, who has traveled on many mission trips around the world bringing the gift of sight to people in need by providing them eyeglasses collected by the Lions.

The club will be collecting used eyeglasses and hearing aids as part of its ongoing service project to help those in need around the world.

The Lions are also collecting non-perishable food items and clean gently-used winter coats to be donated to the ACBC Food Shelf.

In addition, the Lions are asking attendees to bring any bridesmaid dresses, sport coats, hats, suits, Halloween costumes, costume jewelry, party dresses or other similar items to be donated to Camp Friendship, a camp for those with mental and physical challenges.

To learn more about the club, contact Dan Janish, membership chairperson, at 612-558-2851 or go to the club’s website at or visit the club on Facebook.

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