FREEPORT — Members of the Lioness Club, a women’s volunteer community service group, have been actively involved in charity events and fundraising in the area for the past 31 years. While the organizations and the charities they support are serious, President Cindi LaHaye said it is a priority for the members to have fun.
“Belonging to this organization has been challenging for me, but very rewarding,” she said. “We make friendships that last forever, have fun while helping the community, and learn from each other.”
Sherry Smith, the Membership Committee chairwoman, said the group is “incredibly active.”
“We do so much for a group of 19 people,” she said. “We are a creative, fun group of gals who help where and when we can.”
She said members are residents of New Gloucester, Gray, Yarmouth, North Yarmouth, Auburn, Durham and Pownal, and the group has helped people in as many towns. Members range in age from 40 through 70 and are employees of L.L. Bean, the Baxter School for the Deaf, Cole Haan, Bowdoin College, local fisherman and chiropractors. They may come from different backgrounds, but are united in their effort to help those in need.
“If people need any kind of support, we try to provide them with it,” LaHaye said. “We can help financially, we can offer company, bring food or supplies when needed.”
Martha Daly, a Lioness since 1985, said the group supports national organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Alzheimer’s Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Special Olympics, Arthritis Foundation, and the Brain Injury Foundation. Locally, the group sponsors the Freeport High School softball team, offers scholarships to graduating seniors and supports the Port Teen Center, the Freeport Elders, the Hawthorn House, the Oakleaf Senior Citizens and the Freeport Performing Arts Program.
“There are a lot of organizations out there that are very rigid and structured, but we are spontaneous and creative,” Smith said. “We are looking for people who are motivated, fun, interested, and active.”
In 2007, the Lioness Club joined Lions International and are now, LaHaye said, a part of the largest non-profit service organization in the world.
While this year is winding down for the Lioness-Lions Club, they will pick back up in the fall with fresh ideas and ways to help members of the community. The meetings take place twice a month at the Oak Leaf Terrace and interested residents are welcome to attend. To get more information, contact Smith at 504-1946.
“Besides being club members and doing the community a service, we are friends for life,” Smith said. “This is such a gratifying experience.”