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Heart of a Lion – The Lions Club Cub Program

The Lions Club is an international service organization with the goal of helping the community, both locally and globally. With a motto simply stating “we serve,” their presence is felt in the neighborhood as well as on the world stage.

The Lions Club was founded in 1917 by a Chicago businessman. After a discussion with his fellow business associates, Melvin Jones pitched the idea of serving the needs within the community as well as those of the world. Meetings were held, a constitution was adopted, ethics were established, and thus the Lions Clubs were born.

The Lions Club’s Cub program is a branch within the organization that instills the delight that one attains from helping someone in need to children aged 12 and under. Kindness, generosity, and the satisfaction of providing for someone less fortunate are some of the traits that a Cub learns from acts of service. The Cub program teaches children that helping someone in need can be a truly exhilarating experience. Volunteering allows a child to see life from another viewpoint, by seeing that their service is appreciated and important.

lion's clubAt a recent pancake breakfast, President Gloria Ballard was approached by some children who wanted to help with the event. Seeing their eagerness and zeal to assist, in September of 2023 a Cub program within the Bass Lake Lions came to fruition. Children now have a formal setting in which they can volunteer and support the community, as well as provide assistance to those in need around the world. The Cub program currently has 15 members who work on a variety of community projects. Each member receives a badge and certificate for their involvement in the organization.

Many of the projects that the Cubs are involved with have a direct impact on those less fortunate. During the past holiday season they volunteered with the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign to raise money for various programs to help the needy. Two other examples of fundraising that the Cubs participate in are the Keys for Cancer and the Pop Tabs for Riley’s. The Keys for Cancer program involves the collection of keys that are no longer needed. The keys are collected and recycled, with the proceeds going to the Lions Cancer Control Fund of Indiana. Pop Tabs for Riley’s is a way to put pull tabs from your favorite beverage to good use. The Cubs place containers throughout the community where one can contribute their pull tabs. The tabs are recycled and the proceeds go directly to Riley children’s hospitals. These small acts of service by the Cubs provide a big impact for those who need it.

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The Dictionary Project is a way that the Lions provide a valuable service to elementary school children who might not have the benefit of the internet. This program provides third-grade students in Knox and North Judson with a physical dictionary to assist in their studies. This past year, the Cubs were actively involved in the distribution of the dictionaries to Knox Elementary. A grant from the Starke County Community Foundation helped in the funding of this much-appreciated program.

The Cubs hold organized meetings just like their adult counterparts. Meetings are called to order by Kasen and Quinn McLaughlin, who serve as president and vice president of the group. The meetings are a place where the children work on projects together, and they also provide the opportunity for them to get together with their friends. The making of friendship bracelets was a recent project by the Cubs. Each member made two bracelets – one for themselves and another for someone special. The passing of friendship on to someone else, a small gesture of kindness in itself, truly results in a much larger feeling of gratification.

classThe Cubs also visited nursing homes during the holidays. Small gifts and cards were created and passed out to nursing-home residents.

“Getting children involved at an early age is a great way for them to see their appreciation and keep them involved,” says Ballard.

They might be young, but these children truly have the hearts of lions within.

Those interested in joining the Cubs can put in a request at the Starke County Public Library, or contact Ballard at

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