Lions Club to host pancake breakfast Sunday

The Negaunee Lions Club volunteers are seen at a recent Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic, one of many events that its members volunteer. Its annual breakfast at Lakeview Elementary School on Sunday is one of its major fundraisers. (Photo courtesy of the Negaunee Lions Club)

NEGAUNEE — Lions Clubs are about more than giving away used eyeglasses to people who need them.

They’re also about contributing to local youth programs and volunteering at sporting events. However, fundraisers help the cause.

The Negaunee Lions Club is celebrating its 50th year, and one of its major fundraisers, the annual pancake breakfast, is set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday in the Lakeview Elementary School cafeteria. Tickets for the event, which includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit, coffee and juice, are $7 per person or $25 for a family, with tickets available at the door.

“This is our biggest fundraiser every year,” said longtime member Dave Hallgren, with 300 to 600 people normally served. “It’s a good community gathering because a lot of the people that come to the event, they see people they see only once a year, and they have a good visit.”

Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit youth recreation programs, said Gary Perala, Lions Club president.

“It’s a long list,” Hallgren said.

Youth hockey, Little League and athletics at Negaunee schools are some of those programs, as is Scouting, he said.

Perala pointed out that schools nowadays don’t have the proper funds for programs.

“Organizations like us are pretty important to them,” Perala said.

He has first-hand knowledge of this situation, having taken part in athletics as a Negaunee Miner.

“They were always a part and in support of our athletics,” he said of the Lions’ involvement.

Hallgren said the Negaunee Lions also are a big supporter of Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay and the state Lions group’s Leader Dogs for the Blind school in downstate Michigan.

Since the Negaunee Lions Club has been around for half a century, its list of accomplishments is long.

One of those accomplishments — a service, not a fundraiser — is volunteering at the annual Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic, with the club putting on a “spaghetti feed” the night before the race.

Other events at which the club volunteers are the Noquemanon Ski Marathon and the Polar Roll Fat Bike Race.

More of the club’s projects are detailed at negauneelions.com. They include:

≤ the Lions Log Cabin;

≤ the Old Town Jackson Pit display;

≤ taking care of a 2-mile stretch of M-35 for the Adopt-A-Highway program;

≤ Eastwood Nursing Center bingo;

“We Serve” awards for Negaunee High School seniors;

≤ sponsorship of an annual high school track meet in May at Negaunee High School; and

≤ various construction projects in the area.

Using its endowment fund, the Negaunee Lions Club has provided grants over the years, such as a city parks beautification project, acoustical equipment for the Negaunee High School Music Department and a magnifier for people with limited sight.

Financial support also has been given to recipients like Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan, the Marquette County Health Department and the Negaunee Senior Center, among many others.

Fundraisers like the upcoming pancake breakfast make these efforts possible.

“We raise money to give money away,” Perala said.

Perala said the Lions urges men and women to get involved.

“If you’re looking to join a service organization or a club, we would be a good one,” he said.

For more information, visit negauneelions.com or go to its Facebook page.