Lions: A history of giving

Alex Mann
Managing Editor

Since the earliest days of Borger, the local Lions have played their part in developing the town and helping those in need across the county. One fascinating story was shared at the most recent Borger Lions meeting, and illustrates a shining example of a charitable past moving on well into the present, and future.

“In the early fall of 1970, a busload of girls from Girl's Town, the Borger campus, was on their way to White Face when their bus broke down,” began Lion Ray White, speaking to the gathered Lions, “The director of Girls Town in White Face at the time was a Lion's member... he contacted a Lion from Amarillo, past District Governor Ed Flood, and he asked Ed to watch the girls while they were fixing the bus. Ed got down there, and he couldn't help but notice that the girls' coats were all tattered and torn, and their shoes were all scuffed and worn, and he thought the Lions could do something about that.”

The Lions did indeed do something, and in short order the organization created what was not only a chance for young kids to get the clothing and coats they need, but also to provide an incredible experience all while showing them that there are people who care. “They decided to do a district project involving all the clubs in a district where they would do a shopping spree, and buy a coat and shoes for every girl at Girls Town, both the Borger campus and White Face.” Lion Ray explains, “The very first shopping spree was in November of 1970.” It would be impressive enough to share a full blown shopping spree with dozen of kids back in the 70's, but the project has continued on even today, and has improved the lives of hundreds of local youth. “In 2008, Cal Farleys took over Girl's Town USA, and Girls Town became part of the Cal Farley's family.” Ray continues, “Eventually they closed the Borger and White Face campuses, but that didn't stop the Lions. They stepped up and accepted the challenge to include a shopping spree for all the young people at Cal Farleys. Last Year 45 young people spent $240 each, and the Lions contributed $200 of that, and Sears offered a 20 percent discount.”

Even today, the Lions are already planning the 2015 shopping spree. Locals interested in joining the Lions are always welcome, but anyone can get in contact with the group to simply make a donation, or offer their time to the cause. “This year the shopping spree will be Sunday, November 15, and we'll meet at 1:45 p.m. at Sears, and about 2:00 p.m. we'll start shopping with the kids.” Lion Ray concludes, “If you want to get the warm fuzzies and put a smile on a child's face, this is a great opportunity to do so. Come shopping with us.”