BROKEN BOW—Approximately 150 people are causing a roar at this weekend’s Nebraska State Lions Convention in Broken Bow. With a network of approximately 1.4 million members throughout 208 countries, Lions International aims to meet the needs of local communities and those around the world. One of the main goals of the non-profit organization is to end preventable blindness by providing vision and health screenings.
Locally, the Broken Bow Lions Club can be seen volunteering at events around town and raising funds for people in need, amongst many other community-service based projects. “We Serve” became the association’s official motto in 1954.
Broken Bow Lions Club President Stephanie Evans said nearly 150 people are staying in town for the convention. Members from 35 Nebraska Lions Clubs are represented this weekend, traveling from cities such as Hyannis, Bridgeport, Omaha, Hastings, and Gordon.
“It’s amazing to see the amount of people come in from different towns,” Evans said.
Gordon resident Nancy Russell said that an international director from Texas is also in attendance this weekend. The state talent contest was held on Friday afternoon at the middle school and featured the winners of smaller contests prior to the Lions State Convention. Four age divisions featured talented students performing martial arts, dance, poetry, singing, and instrumental performances.
Talent Contest co-chair Chris Gentry of Hyannis has been a Lion for nearly 13 years and said he loves serving communities and to have the chance to visit Broken Bow.
“The Lions is great because we do great community service so it means a lot to be able to help out community, whether it’s local or somebody else’s,” Gentry said. “We were here a few years ago and Don Wolford and the Broken Bow Lions took care of us pretty good and so it came up to do convention in this area again and Broken Bow is a great spot we felt to do it again.”
In addition to the talent contest, the weekend is full of activities for all interests of Lions members including training sessions, golf tournament, strides walk, talent contest, silent auction, memorial service, cabinet meetings, social gatherings, and a formal awards banquet on Saturday night at the Cobblestone.
Evans says the convention, which moves around the state each year, is a great way to network with other club members from across Nebraska.
“That’s the fun part to see what other clubs are doing and how they are doing and what are they doing to gain new members,” Evans said.
She hopes attendees will enjoy their time in Broken Bow and hopes to bring the convention back to town every three years.
“Just to see what our community has to offer. We offer a lot. We are a growing community and we’re very proud of it so we want to show it off and we want to thank all the businesses for all their support,” Evans said.