Pratt Lions facilitate memorial benches and eye care services in the community

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
A purple metal box on the west side of South Main Street near Merchants Park is the Pratt Lions Club preferred drop off point for plastic bag collections. Sheryl White is doing her part to fill the box with recyclable bags as she is working towards 500 pounds that will be turned into a bench donated by the Pratt Lions Club in memory of Jack Ewing, former club member.

Pratt Lions Club members are busy selling raffle tickets for their annual side of beef and community-booster fundraiser this month. They are also finding time to empty the purple plastic bag receptacle, located by the Barron Theater on South Main Street in Pratt as it being regularly stuffed.

"We are finding that people are very supportive of both our projects at this time," said Lions Club President Andy Lee. "Ticket sales, though unannounced, are zipping along, and we are having to empty our plastics collection box almost every other day because of the great support for our bags to benches project."

More than 60 prizes, donated by generous Pratt business owners and community members, have been collected for the Pratt Lions Club annual raffle fundraiser, as well arrangements made for the grand prize - a side of beef. The Pratt Lions Club raffle has always been a good sell, as almost everyone who buys tickets wins something.

"We so appreciate the wonderful support we get for this fundraiser," Lee said. "All the profits go directly into helping our local people, children and adults, who are in need of financial support when it comes to vision care. Last year we were able to pay for more than 20 individuals who needed eye exams or eye-glasses."

Lions Club raffle tickets may be purchased from Lions Club members Andy Lee at Pratt Energy, Grady Stultz at Stanion Electric, Denis Rasmussen and Harold Stultz, as well as at Cathy's Closet, 322 S. Main, Pratt. All tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.

As for the bags to benches project, Lions Club members have been quietly gathering plastic and weighing it at their meetings. Drop-offs in the purple Lions Club rack, as well as donations through Eco Pickup have netted several hundred pounds of plastic for that will be turned into a fiber-type bench. The plastic would otherwise be going into the county landfill, but through this project is instead being made into memorial benches.

"The first bench we will have made will be in honor of Jack Ewing, a former Lions Club member," Lee said. "We are creating a list for other memorial benches if the amount of plastic gathered continues to come in."

Plastic bags and similar wrappings may be dropped off in the purple rack near Merchants Park on the west side of S. Main Street, or by calling Eco Pickup (Caleb Powell) at (620) 352-0244.

Visitors and those interested in joining the Pratt Lions Club are always welcome at noon meetings every Wednesday at Club D'Est. Recent programs at Lions Club meetings have included informational presentations by Chelsey Rose for the PILR organization, April Hemphill for the Pratt Area Humane Society, Caleb Powell sharing Eco Pickup intel and Pamela Ford with The Hope Center. Pratt Lions Club President Andy Lee may be contacted at 218-770-5378.

Chelsey Roses share community outreach information from PILR  at a recent Pratt Lions Club meeting at the Club D'Est. The club meets every Wednesday at noon. Members also attend via Zoom.