by Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter
Otsego has a new club and an ambitious young president to get it off the ground. Chad Christian is the first president of the Otsego Lions Club, which will kick off as an official group at its Charter Night March 19.
Some Otsego residents have been tinkering with the idea of a Lions Club for several years, but the idea never took off — until Christian decided it was finally time to make it happen.
“We were thinking maybe we’d like to get one going in Otsego if we could find the right people to do it. A couple of us sat in on a few meetings in Rogers, at their Lions Club, and one thing led to another and now we have 30 members ready to get this thing started,” Christian said.
Though Christian is only 23 years old, he has a long history in the community. The Otsego resident works for a family-owned business in Rogers, Christian Builders and Remodelers, that was started by his grandparents.
“My family has always been involved in community things. I have a great passion in seeing my community improve. I’ve lived in Rogers and Otsego my whole life. I don’t plan on living anywhere else,” he explained.
He also got some assistance from Rogers Lions Club President Jack Hines, who helped found his group in 1976.
Hines said, “I was talking to the city manager over there, Lori Johnson, and she said that they needed a service organization in Otsego. I told her I was happy to help so I started talking to people. I just live across the river from Otsego so I know lots of people there.”
The group already has 30 members and is hoping to have 50 members, both men and women, by the time they become an official Lions Club on their Charter Night in March. Members can live or work in Otsego, or come from anywhere and just want to contribute.
In addition to the camaraderie of belonging to the group, Hines said that being a Lion provides a real sense of pride.
“You find out what the international organization does and it’s totally overwhelming. I get the Lions magazine every month, and I see every time there’s a tsunami or a tornado, the Lions are one of the first groups out there with money or helping people. Even though I had nothing to do with those things, I’m still a part of it because I’m a Lion,” he said.
And though Lions Clubs do good deeds the world over, he said that the No. 1 responsibility of a Lions Club is to help their own community. According to Hines, the Rogers Lions Club has given over $130,000 to the city of Rogers.
Christian has a lot of projects in the works for the Otsego Lions. He’s looking forward to the group hosting fundraisers and community events. The only thing he needs now is an official club full of members to sit down and hammer out the details.
“I can’t wait to get things going and start making a difference in this community,” he said.
The Otsego Lions are already meeting the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., alternating between Rockwoods and Boondocks, both in Otsego. To join the group, Christian recommends stopping by a meeting or giving him a call for more information at 763-234-7122.