Jonesboro Lions Club President Anne Singelton receives her club’s official banner from McDonough Lions Club President Alejandro Mercado, right, and 1st Vice-President Patrick Pignataro during a charter presentation ceremony last Friday. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)
LOVEJOY — Lions Clubs International made it official last Friday: Clayton County now has its own pride.
However, in this case, pride does not mean the county has learned to be proud of itself. Instead it refers to a pride — or group — of lions.
The international community service organization granted a charter to the Jonesboro Lions Club last week during a ceremony at the South Clayton Recreation Center in Lovejoy. The granting of a charter means that after less than a year of work, the Clayton County group has gained enough members to be recognized as an official chapter of the organization.
Lions from across north and central Georgia converged on the county to celebrate the occassion.
“Yesterday, there were a quarter of a million people in Clayton County who were not served by a Lions Club, but that’s changed tonight,” said past north Georgia Lions Club council chairman Mark Miller as he delivered the keynote address.
The Jonesboro Club has gotten off to a start with 20 members, including some notable members of the Clayton County community, including state Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Jonesboro) and Clayton County Minsters Association leader Leon Beeler.
Club President Anne Singleton pledged to uphold the organization’s values and use its “We Serve” motto as a guide for its community service efforts.
“It feels really exciting to have this charter,” Singleton said. “I feel like we’re in a position to move forward and better serve our community now.”
The first step the club is taking, now that it has a charter, is to fundraise so it will have money to support outreach effort, including work to fight blindness. The club will sell baked goods and hamburgers and hotdogs during Glanton’s South Metro Music Festival Saturday on Main Street in Jonesboro.
However, Singleton envision the club bringing bigger events of its own to the county, such as a festival modeled after the McDonough Lions Club’s Geranium Festival, which is coming up next month. It may not be too much of a surprise that the Jonesboro club would take inspiration from the McDonough club since it was their sponsor before the charter was granted.
“I envision something like the Geranium Festival [happening] in Jonesboro,” said Singleton. “That’s what I want for this community.”