The Vinton Breakfast Lions recently installed new officers for the upcoming year. John Dyer will be serving as President, Will Moseley as Vice President, Hal Mabe as 2nd Vice President, Bob Benninger as Treasurer, Gary Myers as Secretary, Keith Lafferty as Lion Tamer, Zach McCarty as Tail Twister, and Chris McCarty as Membership Chair.
Board members include Jeff Mason, Jeff Stovall, Joel Lytton, Bob Capobianco, Dave Jones, Anthony Conner, Matt Bartlett, Clark Crawley, Richard Goad, Same Cundiff, and Steve Haldren.
John Dyer was presented with the Melvin Jones Award, the highest form of recognition a Lion can receive for their charitable work. Chris McCarty was named Lion of the Year.
Lions Club International was founded in 1917 and is most recognized for championing the blind and visually impaired. The local Vinton Breakfast Lions were chartered in 1985. While they collect and sort used eyeglasses for distribution, they also sponsor many other service projects throughout the year that benefit the Vinton community.
The Lions raise funds through their annual Pancake Breakfast in the fall and their Spaghetti Dinner traditionally held on the day of the Vinton Christmas parade. They sell Lions Club brooms, raise funds with the White Cane Day project, and host their main fundraiser—the annual Raffle Draw Down event. Virtually all the money they collect is spent for the benefit of Vinton area residents.
The Lions award four scholarships to William Byrd High School Seniors each year and two scholarships at Staunton River High School in memory of member Ryan Chambers who passed away in an automobile accident in 2018. They recently made donations to the YOVASO programs at WBHS and SRHS.
The Breakfast Lions sponsor the annual Bland Music Competition Scholarship Program for musically talented area students who can then advance to district, regional, and state competitions.
Throughout the year, the Breakfast Lions provide local elementary school children with extra clothing, school supplies, snacks, and refreshments, help with school projects, and treat several area children to a Christmas Shopping trip.
In 2019, the Lions funded construction of the picnic shelter at Herman L. Horn Elementary School.
The Breakfast Lions have worked diligently since March 2015 on a legacy project–reclaiming and preserving the historic Gladetown Cemetery from undergrowth and debris. The cemetery, which contains some of the oldest graves in Vinton dating from the 1820’s, has been restored and is now fenced in—due to the efforts of the Lions.
Where there is a need, the Lions step forward to meet it.