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Central Carroll: Libraries hosting Lions Clubs for day of ‘giving back to people’

Anna Maria Halstead holds a card that was created at the 2019 Roar Like a Lion Day to thank a veteran. This year's event is on Jan. 26.
Anna Maria Halstead holds a card that was created at the 2019 Roar Like a Lion Day to thank a veteran. This year's event is on Jan. 26.(Lois Szymanski/For Carroll County Times)

On Jan. 26, Lions Clubs throughout Carroll County will team up to hold their second annual Roar Like a Lion Day at every public library in Carroll County, offering multiple opportunities for children and adults to offer their service to the community through a myriad of activities.

Look for Westminster Lions Club and Greater Carroll Lions Club at the Westminster branch of the Carroll County Public Library. They will have activities set up at tables throughout the library, from 1 to 4 p.m. Bring your giving heart and your service sheet if applicable. Kids will be eligible to earn community service hours at the event.

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Susie Coursey is chairperson of the Westminster library event and the secretary for the Westminster Lions Club. She said they had a full house during the entire three hours of last year’s event.

“I think it's important for kids to learn the value of giving back to people,” Coursey said. “This event is so great because students can earn service hours and give back to the community, while having fun with their friends.”

Some of the projects you can participate in include making warm scarves and blankets for those in need, making dog toys out of old T-shirts for the Humane Society of Carroll County, creating Valentine’s cards to be sent to those serving in the military, and painting glass jars to brighten the day of assisted living residents.

The Lions will also be collecting new toys for kids with cancer. Attendees are encouraged — but not required — to bring new items to donate, such as Lego sets, Matchbox/Hot Wheels, coloring books and crayons, board games, craft kits, dolls and doll clothes, pop-up books, Play-Doh, rattles and teething rings, playing cards, musical/light-up toys, gift cards, or cash.

“The toys we are collecting for pediatric cancer patients will be distributed at local hospitals in the Baltimore area,” Coursey said.

The Westminster branch library is located at 50 E. Main St. in Westminster.

Roaring Run Lions Club and Deer Park Lions Club will be at the Finksburg branch library from 1 to 4 p.m. Vicki Mahr, the coordinator, encourages all to turn out to do good for others.

“As in the past we will be making cards for Veterans … welcome home, thank you for your service, and Valentine cards,” Mahr said. “This is a great activity for all ages. We will also be making cards of encouragement for pediatric cancer patients. There will be fleece scarves [and blankets] for those in need, care bags for the homeless, and encouragement items to ship overseas to the military.”

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According to Mahr, even local pets will benefit.

“New this year, we will be making fleece beds for animals in shelters,” she said.

Attendees may help fill first-responder appreciation bags for local firefighters and police. Or participate in a special project with The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County and the Carroll Anti-Stigma Resiliency Effort, spearheaded by Lions Club member Linda Auerback.

“We have 300 mugs to be painted with paints and permanent markers to given out to those in recovery, the homeless, and others in need,” Auerback said. “They will have messages on them like, ‘Be Kind to Yourself’ and other anti-stigma messages.”

“Many of these projects can be done by 3-year-olds and 83-year-olds, and everyone in between,” Mahr said. “No special skills [are] needed.”

Attendees are encouraged — but not required — to bring a food donation for local pantries and used eyeglasses and hearing aids, which Lions Clubs collect and refurbish for those in need.

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Auerback said one station will be painting wooden hearts and stones with messages to be sent to the American Warrior program, and another will put together care boxes for children in pediatric care.

“We’ll also be making Christmas ornaments for the giving tree for next year and putting together Easter eggs for this year’s egg hunt,” Auerback said.

Mahr spoke of why they do it.

“'We serve’ … the Lions motto … two simple words that have such a wide ripple effect,” she said. “We invite you to the library to serve your community at this afternoon of service. We are here with the materials and the projects, and we will deliver the items throughout the community and beyond. People want and need to serve others. It is proven that individuals and communities that 'serve’ thrive and are healthier. It may be a cold Sunday in January, but these acts of service will warm the hearts and hands of the server as well as the recipient.”

Hundreds of people turned out for last year’s Roar Like a Lion Day. Advance registration is not required. Simply show up.

“We look forward to seeing everyone,” Mahr said.

For more information on Westminster library activities, contact Coursey at 443-974-0940.

For more information on Finksburg library activities, email Mahr at mahrfamily5@comcast.net.

Documentary film screenings

Throughout January, Film Lovers in Carroll County (FLICC), the club that meets monthly to choose movies for the Carroll Arts Center, will present a weekly documentary film at the Carroll Arts Center.

Showtimes are at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. every Friday in January.

On Jan. 24, see the 2019 production of “Maiden.” This is the inspirational story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old charter boat cook, and how she became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World yachting race in 1989. With the support of her remarkable crew she went on to shock the sport and prove that women are the equal to men. The film is one hour and 37 minutes and is rated PG.

On Jan. 31, see the 2019 film, “Honeyland,” an ethereal documentary about the last female beekeeper in Europe, making her living cultivating honey in the mountains of Macedonia using ancient beekeeping traditions. Tension arises when a rowdy nomadic family arrives and tries their hand at beekeeping, disregarding her advice along the way. This is billed as an epic, visually stunning portrait of the delicate balance between nature and humanity. The film is one hour and 27 minutes and is unrated.

“This was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature,” JoAnna Crone, Arts Center communications coordinator, said with excitement. “And in February we do foreign films every Friday at the same times.”

According to press information, FLICC’s goal is to use the Arts Center to celebrate the art of film to inspire, inform and even entertain. They meet almost every third Tuesday at the Carroll Arts Center at 6:30 p.m.

“January is traditionally a time for resolutions and examining our life goals. This series of films will provide inspiration to help you live your best life,” Crone said.

Learn more online at http://carrollartscenter.org or call the Arts Center at 410-848-7272.

Three cheers for the giving spirit

Between November and the end of the year, Southern States Cooperative employees Darlene Jones, Robin Dull and Patricia Nusbaum ran an annual holiday food drive at the store on John Street in Westminster. Santa, Mrs. Claus and two elves waved at passing cars while inside, a record 650 food items were collected.

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In addition, Lions Club member Robin Dull collected $140 in gift cards and cash donated by a group of the bikers who frequent the Denny’s restaurant in Westminster.

For years, Westminster Lions Club member Bill “Greenie” Green delivered these donated items to the Brethren’s Loaves and Fishes ministry and food pantry at Westminster Church of the Brethren. When he passed in December, Lions Club President Lee Miller delivered the food with club member Ted Burnett.

Miller he said he only wished “Lion Greenie” could have witnessed the amount of food collected.

“He had a big heart, and he did his best to help out the Lions and help the Westminster community,” Miller said.

Rolland Kiracofe, who chairs the Church of the Brethren’s Loaves and Fishes ministry and manages the food pantry, was on hand to receive the harvest of food items and gift cards, including hundreds of cans of food, as well as granola bars, noodles, rice, cereal, and crackers.

The Lions Club is familiar with the program because their members serve a hot lunch at the Loaves and Fishes program there throughout the year, and donate food regularly. However, with help from Southern States, this donation was the largest ever by the Lions Club.

Three cheers for all who pitch in to make a difference in our community.

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. Reach her at 443-293-7811 or LoisSzymanski3@hotmail.com.

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