Lions clubs band together with Lions Int’l for Guardian Angels van

by Jim Boyle

Several local Lions Clubs banded together and proved the old adage that there is strength in numbers.

Five Lions clubs and Lions International joined forces with Guardian Angels of Elk River to come up with the last bit of money needed to buy a van like the one in this picture to transport seniors who are part of the Guardian Angels system of care.

From left to right: Rogers Lions Club President Rick Ihley; Elk River Lion Frank Blake; Guardian Angels Board Member and Gala Committee Marilyn Bina; Gala Committee Member Eloise Miller; Elk River Lions President Tony Mikols; Elk River Lion Deb Weston; Jane Houlton; Past District Governor Brian Toews; Past District Gov. & Elk River Lion Jim Mulroy; District Governor Dave Schroeder; Past District Gov., Rogers Lion & Guardian Angels Board member Jack Hines; Guardian Angels President/CEO Dan Dixon; Elk River Lions John Weicht (back), Lion Don McRae, Lion Neil Anderson; and Annette Greely, the director assisted living at Guardian Angels By The Lake.

The local clubs to get on board were the Elk River Lions, the Rogers Lions, the Nowthen Lions, the Zimmerman Lions and the Albertville Lions. Once all the area Lions clubs were on board,  Lions International Foundation agreed to kick in $25,000 of the $80,000 needed for the handicap-accessible 13-passenger van.

Individual club contributions went to the Guardian Angels 2011 Gala, which netted $55,000.

“It’s so amazing how the community comes together to support this effort, Guardian Angels and our seniors,” said Deb Weston of Guardian Angels and an Elk River Lion.

Dan Dixon, the president of the Guardian Angels, said seniors at Guardian Angels who like to be on the go will be thoroughly pleased.

5M7 District Gov. Dave Schroeder and First Lady Lion Nancy Schroeder were present for the check presentation, which was done this past week in the dining area of Guardian Angels by the Lake and outdoors by a van very similar to the one that will be purchased.

Also present were the Immediate Past District Gov. and Lions Clubs International Foundation District Coordinator Brian Toews and Lion Joanne Toews as well as past District Gov. Jim Mulroy, 5M5 District Gov. Jan Cariveau, Past 5MF District Gov. Jack Hines and Lion Carol Hines.

Rogers Lions President Rick Ihley and Albertville President Ron  Tiernan were also on hand for the presentation of the check.

Members of the Guardian Angels Gala, including co-chairs Linda Krieger and Deb Urista along with Marilyn Bina, Linda Hjelmstad, Eloise Miller, Judy Reistad, Jane Houlton and Dawn Moyer were there as well as Guardian Angels directors Jim Nord, Hines and Bina.