Great Work on the Garden Tour
Dear Editor: Just want to thank [the Gulfport Merchants Chamber] for thinking out of the box and putting in the time to keep the Gulfport Flamingo Tour alive and well during the COVID-19 pandemic. My friends and I enjoyed strolling through the gardens as much as we have enjoyed the homes in the past. The homeowners were relaxed and welcoming, eager to share their knowledge. The tour book was the best ever. The large photos, colorful ads, and delightful write ups made for a quality tour book that to me reflected Gulfport’s lively spirit. Great team work! – Rose-Marie Seawall
Do You Know the Lions Club?
Dear Editor: There have been several comments and opinions made by city council members and local citizens regarding the Gulfport Lions Club building. These recent comments and opinions have made me think….I wonder how much our community really knows about our Gulfport Lions Club?
Our club has been a part of this community since 1948. The city allowed the club to build its clubhouse on this land mostly because its location was not considered a “prime location.” The club built the building that stands today with monies raised by selling $100 bonds to members and others in the community.
Now to the present. Our Lions Club, and its “sister” charitable organization, Lions Club of Gulfport, FL Foundation, Inc. (501(c)(3)) are responsible for fundraising monies that benefit our community. Our pancake breakfasts, shrimp boils, spaghetti dinners and craft fair are the means upon which we raise money. Profits from these events are earmarked only to fund these charitable needs and no other items. Here are just some of the organizations we support and the amounts provided over the past two years:
Eye Exams, and if, needed eye surgery for qualifying Gulfport residents ($300); Tampa Eye and Tissue Bank ($650); Gulfport Police Operation Santa Fund ($3,000); Gulfport Little League ($1,000); Gulfport Senior Center Food Pantry ($2,000); Gulfport Historical Society ($1,000); Lighthouse for the Blind & Low Vision ($350); Southeastern Guide Dogs ($800).
We also rent the clubhouse for weddings, graduations, family reunions and celebrations of life. Funds from these events help to maintain the repairs to the clubhouse. Our quarterly dues fund our business expenses and if needed additional repairs to our building. This fiscal year due to COVID-19, we have not been able to raise as much money, but we are determined to still help as much as possible.
To conclude, I hope this has given our neighbors in Gulfport a brief idea of how we use our clubhouse to raise money to give back to our community to make it a bit better place to live. – B. Jill Coyne, Treasurer, Gulfport Lions Club, Lions Club of Gulfport, FL Foundation, Inc.