New president takes over for Craig Lions Club |

New president takes over for Craig Lions Club

Ben McCanna

Donna Johnson stands Wednesday outside the Golden Cavvy Restaurant & Lounge on Yampa Avenue in Craig. On July 1, Johnson became president of the Craig Lions Club. Club members meet for lunch every Tuesday at the restaurant.

Al Shepherd, former president of the Craig Lions Club, said he isn't sad about stepping down from his post.

"Oh, no," he said. "I'm the treasurer this year, so I'm not really out of it."

On July 1, Craig resident Donna Johnson took over as president.

Johnson relocated to Craig from Granby with her husband in July 2010. She owns and operates Technical Support Services, a business that provides safety classes in first-aid and CPR.

She is also vice president of the Women's Auxiliary at the Mark Anthony Evans-Lawton American Legion Post 62.

Johnson's involvement in the Lions Club began three years ago, when she lived in Collbran, she said.

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"A friend of mine heard that Lions Club does a lot of community service work, and she said, 'Let's go to a meeting,'" Johnson said. "Halfway through the meeting, I said, 'What does it take to join?'"

Lions Club International has 45,000 clubs and 1.35 million members worldwide, according to its website.

Its mission is to "empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs," the website states.

In Craig, the Lions Club provides annual eyesight screenings to about 600 children ages 1 to 6. The organization also hosts the annual 9Health Fair, which serves hundreds of area residents every spring.

Currently, the Craig Lions Club has 22 members, a number the new organization president said she's hoping to boost.

"We need to grow our club and get new people in," she said. "That's our biggest thing … help get new members."

Joining the organization is easy, she said. No invitation is necessary.

"We have an open policy," she said. "Every Tuesday at noon at the Golden Cavvy we have lunch. Anyone who would like to join (the club) can come have lunch on us."

Shepherd said many people have misconceptions about the Lions Club.

"Younger people think it's an older organization, but it isn't," he said. "You can be a Lion from 18 years of age.

"We very definitely need volunteers, and it very definitely needs to be younger people."

The club also welcomes women. Johnson joins a list of women who have served as president of the local chapter.

"We've actually had several women presidents," Shepherd said. "It used to be that women weren't even allowed in the organization, but that changed in the 80s."

Johnson said the Craig Lions Club is a welcoming environment.

"They're very close-knit and very much community-oriented," she said. "They're very interested in helping the community, especially the children."

On July 1, the club also named April Camp its new vice president.

Craig's other Lions Club — the Cedar Mountain Lions Club — is also trying to grow its ranks, president Tony Maneotis said.

"We're always looking for members," he said. "Young blood is always nice to get."

The Cedar Mountain Lions Club is a men-only club with 13 members, Maneotis said. The organization raises funds by catering events with its vending trailer.

Maneotis said the group will cater family reunions, private parties and more.

"Any event," he said. "And, we're a non-profit organization so everything comes back into the community."

Ben McCanna can be reached at 875-1793 or

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How to join

• The Craig Lions Club meets at noon every Tuesday at the Golden Cavvy, 538 Yampa Ave. Prospective club members are encouraged to attend the lunch meetings. For more information on the Craig Lions Club, call Johnson 329-6014.

• The Cedar Mountain Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of every month also at the Golden Cavvy. New club members are also encouraged to attend the meetings. For more information on the Cedar Mountain Lions Club, call Maneotis at 824- 4422.