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Posted: June 14, 2012 8:36 p.m.

Lions Club celebrates 60 years

Not just the Queen of England or NBC's debut of the current peacock logo, but the Covington Lions Club will also celebrate their 60 years of community service (1952-2012). In honor of this milestone, the Lions will hold a dedication ceremony on the square on Monday, June 18, 10 a.m. east of the courthouse. As part of the Covington square beautification project, they have donated a beautiful Willow Oak tree and a stone plaque will be erected, etched with, "This Willow Oak Tree is dedicated to the Covington Lions Club commemorating 60 years of community service." This dedication also honors those Lions who have passed since 1952. This tree planting also fulfills their participation in the Lions International goal to plant 1,000,000 trees around the world; which as of this date, total trees planted is a whopping 9,734,472. Lions hope many will find the time to attend this ceremony.

The Club is one of 46,000 Lions Clubs around the world and 64 of 1.35 million members around the world. Lions Club International is the largest service club organization in the world. Covington has one honorary member and 18 affiliate members. Their members come from all walks of life - doctors, lawyers, judge, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, management personnel, teachers, executive assistants, farmers - some are still working and others retired. They meet on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. for their regular meeting and dinner. The Board meets on the second Monday of each month. They meet at their pavilion at Academy Springs Park on Conyers Street in Covington. Sponsored by the Oxford Lions Club, the International Association of Lions Clubs chartered them on June 18, 1952.

The Club has had many fundraising activities including womanless beauty pageants, haunted houses, raffles, Cracker Jack sales, etc. Present day fundraisers include Pavilion Rental, Annual Chili Supper in February and the Annual Chicken BBQ in April. The first Saturday in December is the Annual Christmas Parade. In addition, they have assisted the Oxford Lions Club Fourth of July parade, the Covington Back-to-School event on the square and the "Twilights at Christmas" behind the Covington Library. In recent times, they did the Mule Camp Shoot Out in May (although for lack of sponsors, The Single Action Shooting Society had to cancel this event) and the "Sherman's Last Burning" Fall Festival and BBQ Cook-Off from 2006 to 2010. Recently, they added an all-you-can-eat Pancake Supper.

Covington Lions estimate their total contributions to their charities (including non-charitable donations) to be more than $1 million dollars over their 60-year period.

Lions charities include: County Eye Care, Georgia Lions Lighthouse for the Blind, Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind, Leader Dogs, Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexics, Georgia All State Band, Emory Children's Eye Care Center, Georgia Council for the Blind, 6 Newton County Scholarships, Newton County Sheriff Department bulletproof vests, Newton County Humane Society and other miscellaneous donations. They have collected food for the Food Bank, collected items for Operation Sandbox, donated monies for supplies for a scout trying to earn his Eagle Scout Badge, and all left over food is given to the Rainbow Community Shelter in Covington.

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