The Escalon Lions Club, winner of the Community Organization category in the 2016 Readers’ Choice program, was chartered from Lions Clubs International in 1946. Lions are an international organization whose purpose is to help the less fortunate and improve communities throughout the world through volunteer efforts. The Lions motto is “We Serve.”
Our Events in Escalon include, but are not limited to, our Corned Beef dinner fundraiser in March, presenting Escalon’s annual Park Fete celebration in July including the Miss Escalon, Senior Mr. and Mrs. Escalon and Little Mr. and Miss Escalon contests, bringing the circus to our community every other year, and orchestrating the Pete Arellano Memorial Girls High School Basketball Tournament in December. We present a Flag Day program to local third graders annually and offer an annual prepared speech contest to High School students.
We also organize an annual classic car show at Main Street Park each September. This event brings in over 300 classic automobiles and trucks from all over Northern California and is regarded in the car show world as one of the best around. It culminates a summer’s worth of Friday evening car shows held at Hula’s Drive In on Highway 120. The purpose of these events is to raise several thousand dollars annually in scholarships for graduating seniors from Escalon High School.
Some results of our efforts over the years: We built the picnic area at Hogan Park, the stage, dance floor and arch at Main Street Park, the original Ambulance garage, and restrooms at the High School. We purchased a new stretcher for the Escalon Ambulance that provides patients added comfort in their time of need while minimizing the strain on the EMTs assisting them. We support many local organizations and events such as the High School Band, high school wrestling, basketball, football, baseball and volleyball programs, the Escalon Sportsman’s Club’s youth program, and Escalon’s annual holiday program, Christmas on Main Street. We have provided lunches for local seniors. We donate towards Escalon’s Every 15 Minutes program, Sober Grad Night and Healing Arenas. Escalon Lions eyeglass drop off locations throughout Escalon have yielded upwards of 300 pairs of glasses for the less fortunate around the world just last year alone!
We also support several programs that benefit our area, including Canine Companions, which is a dog training program for guide dogs, and All Star Football, which honors local football athletes in a regional game each June in Tracy. The Escalon Lions were in a position to offer financial assistance for victims of the Butte Fire last year and volunteered in food relief efforts at the Rim Fire the year before.
Our club collects the pull tabs from beverage cans and donates them to the Ronald McDonald House in Madera. Ten pounds of tabs provides a night for a family to stay while their child undergoes treatment for cancer at the Madera Children’s Center. Through these efforts, Escalon Lions have provided over 60 nights for families in need in just the last three years alone!
None of the things we do, however, could be possible without the continued support of our community. It truly is a symbiotic relationship, and we are grateful to be bestowed with the trust our fellow citizens have in us, and do not take this bond lightly. We thank you in allowing us to continue to serve.