UNA Lions Club offers new service opportunities

A new set of Lions is in town and ready to serve the community.

Lions Club International is a worldwide service organization that not only helps people globally, but is benefiting people and students close to home, as it has become UNA’s newest organization.

Part of the club’s mission is “to Encourage service-minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavors,” according to Lions Club International.

“Unlike other campus organizations, UNA Lions Club is open to students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said Barbie Terry, UNA’s college development officer and Lions Club adviser.

The Lions Club chapter at UNA was recently recognized as an official organization, as it met the national organization’s 20-member requirement and the campus requirement of 10 members.

Freshman Garrett Grigsby said he is proud to become one of the first students to join the organization.

“I joined because it would look good on my resume, and it is community-oriented,” Grigsby said. “It helps me and the community.”

Terry said she is most excited because the organization will allow students to work with faculty, staff and alumni directly.

She said it will also offer students a sense of belonging at UNA and encourage them to become active alumni after graduation.

The idea for a Lions Club at UNA began approximately two years ago when Don Moore, secretary of Florence Downtown Lions Club, met with UNA officials.

Moore said he mentioned a Lions Club International chapter at UNA, but not much was done to start the project. The idea had been in the air until several months ago when Jerome Thompson, a UNA alumnus, pushed to get a Lions Club on campus.

Thompson spoke with administrators and soon the possibility became more conceivable, Moore said.

He said the Florence chapter will mentor UNA’s members as they work together and meet for the next two years.

“Not all students are interested in joining a sorority or a fraternity,” Moore said. “A UNA Lions Club would give other students a chance to be active in the community.”

Terry said helping individuals and the community are not all this organization will accomplish.

“As a fundraiser for UNA, I see the need firsthand for networking opportunities for our students with alumni,” she said.

President of Circle K International Kayla Land said her organization hopes to partner with the Lions Club to grow community service efforts on campus.

Circle K International is a university-based service club that is self-governed by college students.

Each year, Circle K participates in the March of Dimes March for Babies and organizes a food drive for Students Team Up to Fight Hunger .

“With another club focused on service, it will provide more opportunities for students to serve and will surely benefit the campus and community,” Land said. “I believe in the future, Circle K and Lions Club could work together and do great things. I can’t wait to serve with them and hopefully they will serve with us as well.”

Freshman Abby Cox said, “I’ve always heard good things about the Lions Club (and) I look forward to all of the community based service projects.”