Three heads are better than one

The local Lions, Kiwanis, and Rotary clubs recently banded together to help the community and their respective groups


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - A raffle winner gets ready to go for her ride.

Typically, charitable organizations tend to carry out projects and raise funds on their own and focus on their goals with little to no outside help.

However, news that one long-time local group, the Lions Club International of Prineville, was facing membership issues prompted a new idea in which three organizations ultimately joined forces for the benefit of the community and their respective clubs.

The idea originated this past spring when Chet Petersen, then the president of the Kiwanis Club of Prineville, learned that membership with the Lions Club had dropped to nine people.

He decided the best way to help them, and benefit local citizens at the same time, was for Kiwanis and the Rotary Club of Crook County to band together with the Lions. Consequently, when Petersen was invited to speak to the Lions Club, he pitched his unique idea to the struggling group.

“The theme was that some folks seemed to think that we are in competition with one another — and we’re not,” he said. “We are different service organizations with slightly different approaches to helping our local community.”

Lions Club member and self-proclaimed “tail twister” Jerry Pimentel recalls that Petersen was very persistent and persuasive in promoting his idea.

“He has been very good at that and very steady at it,” he said.

He also acknowledged that Lions membership could use a boost.

“Everybody agrees it is a necessity.”

With each group committing to the idea, Petersen said they decided to pool their efforts during an antique aircraft show held at the Prineville/Crook County Airport this past August. Two members from each group got together and worked together to put on a raffle for a free flight in one of the antique planes.

The raffle generated $1,300, Petersen said, which was divided equally between the three groups to fund their respective projects and goals. In addition, it generated interest in working together again down the road.

“I think it’s great,” said Rotary Club president Mike Hornback. “Anything that helps out the community and other people is something we want to be doing.”

For Petersen, the partnership also provides an opportunity to promote membership for all of the groups.

“If I’m on a mission to find new members and somebody can’t join because they can’t make a Thursday noon meeting (when Kiwanis typically meets), then I should say, ‘Hey, the Lions meet twice a month on Tuesday morning,’ and then send them over to them.”

So far, the Lions are still waiting to see what these recent efforts will do for Lions Club membership numbers. Pimentel said that they have recently gained a couple new members, and he has his fingers crossed that the collaborative projects will yield more interest in joining the Lions.

“We have got to do better,” he said. “That’s all there is to it.”




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