An anchor event of the annual Independence Day/Let Freedom Ring celebration in Montezuma is the Montezuma Lions Club’s chicken barbecue dinner. The dinner has a longstanding history of providing a tasty feast and a social good time. It is also a key event for funding the Lions’ many community service projects and contributions.
The dinner will include the club’s famously-flavored barbecued half-chicken along with baked beans and coleslaw, iced tea and lemonade. The meal will be served inside the air-conditioned Memorial Hall. Serving is scheduled to begin at approximately 11 a.m. following the conclusion of the celebration parade, and continue until about 1 p.m. - or until approximately 880 chicken dinners have been dispensed.
A meal ticket is $12 at the door on July 2 or in advance from Lions club members.
New Entry and Serving Lines
In an effort to reduce traffic congestion and speed up the time it takes for customers to receive meals the Lions will be introducing a change from the past in the traffic flow. Instead of the entrance being the Memorial Hall front doors, they will instead be the exit doors. Customers will enter the hall at the northeast side door of the hall. Once inside, Lions will have two serving lines. All meals will be served in carryout containers, but there will be tables and seating available for dining inside.
Eddie Pierson is this year’s chairman. Preparation of the dinner is a major undertaking for the Lions and all members are counted on to assist. Family members provide help as well. Lions will be doing set up work Friday afternoon beginning at 4 p.m.
The public is encouraged to bring used hearing aids and used eyeglasses to the dinner (or give to a Lions member at any time of the year). All types of hearing aids are welcomed. Some are retrofitted and others have recycle value that helps fund the program of providing free aids to persons in Iowa who need them but cannot afford them. Used eyeglasses are processed by Lions across the state and are then re-issued by volunteers to persons in the poorest parts of the world. Donors of eyeglasses are asked to bring only the glasses; cases are not desired because of the weight and volume they add to shipping costs.
Lions BBQ Task Assignments
Lions assigned to cook chickens – beginning at 3 a.m. – include Lead, William Gregory, and: Jake Thompson, Dick Gregory, Roger Iverson, Bill Schultz, Kyle Cook, Paul Sneller, Marvin Ferneau, Gary Thompson, Dean Teeselink, Pat Montag and Jerome Sheets, plus non-Lions volunteers.
Food Services and Clean Up: Lead, Linda Boeding; Mike Mahaffey, Gordon Alexander, Doug Ver Meer, Ron Hensel, Boyd Sparks, Mike Princer, Bob Hamilton, Rick Talbert, Roger Cox, Kathy Cox, Bud Norman and Ted Morelock.
Ticket Sales and Collection: Lead, Chuck Boeding; Roger Allen, Larry Weeks and Alicia Thompson.
Earlier this year the club paid for the repair of a student’s damaged eyeglasses. A donation of $500 was made to the Montezuma Food Pantry. Camp Hertko Hollow, a camp for children with diabetes, was given $200; the Lions-week camp at Camp Courageous for persons with visual and other disabilities was sent $100, and Leader Dogs for the Blind received $200. A donation of $1,400 was recently made to the Iowa Lions Foundation and $1,000 to the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Entities funded by the state foundation include the Iowa Lions Eye Bank, Iowa KidSight vision screening, and the Lions Hearing Aid program. The International foundation provides emergency relief at the time of disasters, including storms and floods in Iowa and relief for families uprooted by the war in Ukraine.
Club members continue to volunteer in the transport of cornea tissue, covering the relay from Grinnell to the Iowa Lions Eye Bank in Coralville.
New club officers effective July 1
Heading up the club’s officers for the Lions year that begins July 1 will be Eddie Pierson, president; Boyd Sparks and Doug Ver Meer, 1st and 2nd vice-president; Roger Allen, secretary; Mike Princer, treasurer; Bill Schultz, tail twister; Ted Morelock, song leader; and Alicia Thompson, membership chair; in addition there is a slate of directors. The club currently has 37 members.
Montezuma Lions Club is always interested in gaining new members; if interested, communicate that to a member while you are enjoying your barbecued chicken dinner on Saturday.