With help from other organizations, Lakewood benefits from programs by Lakewood First Lions, Caring For Kids, Keep Lakewood Beautiful, Communities in Schools, Springbrook Neighborhood Association, Lakewood Police and Fire departments and others join forces across the city last week to bring laughter, landscaping and labor to make Lakewood a better community.
Cookout at Springbrook Park
To assist the City’s neighborhood needs assessment survey efforts Lisa Ikeda of the Springbrook Neighborhood Association met with Dianne Formoso of Caring For Kids (CFK) to discuss what they might do to improve the turnout and response to the survey. The two members of Lakewood First Lions club chose a hot dog cookout as the focal point at Springbrook Park to draw residents out and get them involved in the survey.
Kim Dodds of Lakewood Human Services was delighted with the results. Though seemingly not a large number, 52 residents filled out the questionnaire to let the City know what they felt was needed in their neighborhood. “We really wanted to hear from the people.” Dodds said. She felt that in too many surveys the local organizations were always ready to submit their thoughts about local needs, but rarely is there a large response from individuals. This time there was a difference, and the idea to have the survey taken around a community event was key to providing a larger response than in any other neighborhood in Lakewood.
The Lions Club provided the food for the cookout, CFK supplied crafts projects for the kids and the Springbrook Neighborhood Association’s Lisa Ikeda rounded up assistance with translations for the largely Hispanic community. Both Lions and CFK provided dozens of volunteers to help with the survey, cooking and crafts. In less than an hour 250 hot dogs were cooked by Lions Ed Formoso and Dick Meier and served with chips and soft drinks by a lineup of Lions to kids and parents alike.
The survey is a primary tool for the City of Lakewood in determining area needs and the budget needed to fund those needs. Any resident may participate by going to the City’s website, www.cityoflakewood.us and navigating to the survey. Or individuals may call 589-2489.
Ed Formoso, one of the newest members of Lakewood First Lions Club, takes on the grilling chores for the cookout at Springbrook Park. He went through 250 hotdogs in 45 minutes.
The Guzman family enjoyed some quality time in the park while helping to provide information the City needs to determine the needs of the numerous communities. The information will help determine how much needs to be budgeted for the various areas within the city.
Camp Leo for Diabetic Children awash in Lions
Lions from Lakewood and around Puget Sound join forces to serve up a fun and learning packed week for kids.
The first day of camp for diabetic children from around Western Washington was probably more fun for the dozens of members of various clubs in the South Sound region. Lakewood First Lions Club was no exception, and they jumped into their kitchen, dining room other chores with curious pleasure.
But when you understand Lions perhaps the pleasure they experienced doing dishes, making sandwiches and salads and serving over 100 typical‚Äîbeyond their disease‚Äîchildren from school grades 3 through 8 is not so curious after all. Lions are known to be a hands-on, get with the program kind of people, and getting into dirty pots and pans is not the kind of challenge to wipe the smiles off their faces.
Camp Leo at Panhandle Lake is about more than just kids. It’s about kids with a life-long disease that they must learn to live with and treat. It’s about showing kids, who may be alone in their classes at home with diabetes, that they are not alone after all. For the better part of a week they will spend day and night coming to grips with the cross they did not ask for but must bear into old age. But the seriousness of their burden is lessened by the knowledge that their problem is not so rare after all. The new friendships developed with a camp full of equals reinforces, through fun and frolic, the assurances that they can control diabetes and go on to live as full and interesting a life as their friends back home unaffected by the disease.
When Lions know what a wonderful worry-free week they are providing diabetic children no task is too great to get into without genuine smiles. Camp Leo is also an excellent opportunity to make new friends from other clubs and reunite with old friends. It turns out they may have more fun than the kids, and Lakewood First Lions members are always at the front of the fun line.
The kitchen work bench at Camp Leo looks more like a couples’ double date than a work session. Left to right, Cheryl Comsia, Fae Crabill, Dan Comsia and Tom Crabill, two husband-wife teams that are members of the Lakewood club, toil away at making hundreds of sandwiches for the lunch meal.
Jan Rich and Nancieann Anderson, both of whom volunteered at Camp Leo along with their husbands, and Riley Smith, president of the Lakewood club, seem to be enjoying kitchen chores at camp more than the same chore at home.
Leo Program offered for Woodbrook Middle School
Members of Lakewood First Lions met with Woodbrook Middle School’s principal Nancy LaChapelle and teacher Sharon West to offer to establish a Leo program at the school. The Leo program, a function of Lions Clubs International, began in 1957 dedicated “…to provide the youth of the world (with) an opportunity for development and contribution, individually and collectively, as responsible members of the local, national and international community.” The acronym Leo now stands for:
- Leadership – Leos develop skills as organizers, time managers and motivators of their peers.
- Experience – Leos learn the importance of cooperation through community service.
- Opportunity – Membership provides young people with a chance to excel, to develop positive character traits, and to receive recognition for their contributions to the community.
Teacher Sharon West, a member of the Lions Club, lead the school program at her previous assignment at Lochburn Middle School while Jeff and Jan Rich lead the program from the Lions’ side. With her transfer to Woodbrook West is hoping to build support for a similar program there.
Principal LaChapelle expressed initial support for the effort while emphasizing that academic achievement was the school’s top priority. The Lions Club and teacher West will submit a formal proposal prior to the start of the school year with a presentation to the parents early in the school year should the program receive approval.
The program run by West at Lochburn started with about 25 students and by the end of her tenure at that school participation had grown to 80. teachers involved in the program receive no pay for
Principal Nancy LaChapelle (L) and teacher Sharon West (2nd from L) meet with Lakewood First Lions Club members (clockwise from top-center) Parley Applegate, Dave O’Keeffe (Communities in Schools), Jeff rich and Mike Brandstetter. They are discussing possible chartering of a LEO club at Woodbrook Middle School.
Keep Lakewood Beautiful and Lakewood First Lions join forces for greening Lakewood’s primary entryway
Members of Lakewood First Lions Club and Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) converged on Lakewood’s primary entrance from I-5 Saturday morning to plant hundreds of bushes in the new landscaping at the intersection of Bridgeport Way SW and Pacific Highway SW. The plants were purchased by KLB through landscape architect Edward Chaffee of Edward Chaffee & Associates with funds raised by KLB through citizen donations. KLB also receives funds from the Rose Murphy Endowment which is dedicated to keeping Lakewood beautiful. KLB also produces a newsletter and host an annual fundraising auction.
The Lions Club was solicited for assistance with the planting because, according to Bob Warfield of KLB, “Lions are always craving to do good in the community.” He went on to say that certain members of the Lions Club can always be seen Saturday mornings cleaning the streets and freeway bordering Lakewood.
Additional plans for the landscaping on Bridgeport and other routes in and out of the city are on the drawing board, including a sculpture for the Bridgeport/Pacific Highway intersection. However, that may prove a more elusive goal as the considerable funding needed has yet to be raised.
Contract landscape architect Edward Chaffee and Keep Lakewood Beautiful’s Bob Warfield refer to the ground plan for the intersection of Bridgeport Way SW and Pacific Highway SW to mark locations for the bushes that will dress up the islands. In the background Lion members Sue Baedertscher and Hugh Hedges, and KLB member Nancy Cook plant bushes.
With the sun rising barely above the horizon members of Lakewood First Lions Club and Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) were already at the intersection of Bridgeport Way SW and Pacific Highway SW planting bushes purchased by KLB to beautify the City’s primary entryway.
Paint Lakewood Beautiful and Lions splash on the paint
More activity buzzed around the little house in the Lake City neighborhood over the past few weeks than has been seen in years, as Lakewood First Lions members swarmed over the home to apply a badly needed fresh coat of paint.
Paint Lakewood Beautiful, a part of Associated Ministries Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful annual project, was again organized by Lion member Sue Baedertscher. It was her 11th or 12th annual paint project. This year, she said, was relatively easy. The weather cooperated and there was not a great deal of work over and above the painting itself.
Candidate homes must be owner occupied and single story construction. Associated Ministries provides Labor and Industry insurance coverage for volunteers on the project site.
Paint projects normally involve several phases after Associated Ministries assigns an address in need of help. A screening process determines the home owner’s financial and physical limitations and the condition of the home. There is an initial visit to the home to assess work issues and material needs, then the Lion member chairing the project will call a meeting to begin signing up volunteers. Two days are generally needed for preparatory work which will including some maintenance issues such as nailing boards back on the house, scraping, pressure washing, and priming. This year a window had to be replaced, including the frame. Then, depending on the number of volunteers and weather, one or two days will be dedicated to final painting an trim work.
This year’s candidate for house painting was selected because she suffered long-term health problems that precluded her from much physical activity. As in many paint projects the home owner has expressed her appreciation by offering to host a barbeque at the end of the project.