Young serves community for four decades
By City Times staff
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – What began as an invitation from a friend, turned into a membership spanning four decades; but, once Ron Young found out what the Nekoosa Lion’s Club was about, he was hooked.
“Basically what I wanted to do all my life was to serve my community somehow,” Young said. “When this friend of mine asked me to come to one of the Lions meetings and see what it was all about I did it and here I am 40 years later.”
Since that day, Young has been an integral part of the annual Pumpkin Fest, Walleye Days, Bingo, fundraisers, brat fries, WRPD K-9 fundraising, and Sportsman’s Night.
“The Pumpkin Fest, I ran that ever since it started. Until probably about six years ago and then our Lion’s Club got out of it because we didn’t have enough members and it takes a lot of volunteers to help out you know,” Young said.
Young said that Sportsman’s Night is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Lions, with a goal of 200 attendees.
“I had to kind of line up the meal and the good thing about that Sportsman’s Night is I had to go shopping all year long to buy gifts for the door prizes,” he explained. “I put in 100 percent participation every year, there weren’t any years thank goodness where I had an illness and I couldn’t make it but now I do now I’m having some health issues. I’m 77 years old and I got some issues and I just can’t do things like I used to.”
“It’s a lot of work but they all take a lot of work and I didn’t mind doing that, something to help Lion’s Club and my community because basically a majority of the funding we get here through fundraisers stays in this town.”
Young said that he got a lot of enjoyment out of being involved in community activities over the years.
“All in all really a very good time with our Lion’s Club and all of our efforts we had for our fundraisers. I enjoyed every bit of it,” he added.
Young has helped the club accomplish much in his 40 years, but one of the most notable at this time of year can be found in the Nekoosa cemetery.
“Another thing I am very proud of are the flags that we have at the cemetery,” he explained. “I was initially involved with that, getting the new flagpoles and flags for the cemetery and it’s a beautiful sight to see when they’re up.
“In fact if you’re in the area over Memorial Day Weekend you’ll see the new flags that we put up. And that was a nice accomplishment.
“We had help with the Boy Scouts with setting them up, taking them down. In some cases, we would go to the Nekoosa High School and we would get kids from the alternative class to help us out with these events. Those stainless steel flagpoles can get pretty heavy.”
Young was honored with the Melvin Jones Fellowship award in 2000 and has served as “tail twister,” creating “fun and harmony in meetings” for many of them
“To me it was an enjoyable 40 years and it was a good thing and I’m glad I was part of it. There’s other members there too that deserve a lot of credit for helping out with all this stuff but I guess I was the guy they always went to if they needed something done,” he said. “I guess they knew the old man could take care of it.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Lions, contact Terry Whitmore at 715-459-7449.