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CG Lions Club earns statewide distinction

COAL GROVE — Last year when Tom Carey took the presidency of the Coal Grove Lions Club, he was well aware he was taking the helm of an organization in trouble.

“We were about to fold,” he said. Carey and other club members knew they had to do something. Most of them were getting older and members were becoming fewer in number.

Carey said the decision was made to grow the club by involving young people.

“There are three groups of people,” Carey explained. “You’ve got older people, solid citizens but they’re getting older. Then there are young people and we found when you involve young people, you also get the people in the middle involved — their parents.”

So last fall, the Lions Club approached Dawson-Bryant Schools and appealed to middle and high school students.

“We provide young people with the potential for development and contribution (to the community)” Carey explained.

The idea was a hit: 133 students joined. And sure enough, their parents came too. Now, the club that was ready to close up shop is the fastest growing Lions Club in the state.

Carey said at a recent state meeting people from other parts of Ohio came to meet him and other Coal Grove Lions to find out how they accomplished their feat.

The club also has a new chaplain, the Rev. Eddie Holmes, who was raised in the home of the club’s former chaplain, the late G.G. Wright.

“It’s almost like we’ve come full circle,” Carey said.