Big toys a big hit
June 22, 2012
Bright sun and 90-degree heat didn't dull the enthusiasm of children and parents at the annual Lisbon Lincoln Highway Lions Club's annual Big Toys for Kids event June 10.
Children ages 2 to 12 ran or dragged their parents and grandparents from one exciting imaginary experience to another, sometimes with small children in a stroller. Photos flashed like lightning, but unfortunately failed to produce any longed-for rain - but attendees were showered with lots of happy smiles.
The oldest child, parent or grandparent brought cash donations for the Lions Club or food items for the Southeast Linn Community Center food pantry. A total of 140 food items were donated.
Local businesses and individuals loaned items for the two-hour event. Displayed were tractors huge and small, an ambulance, a fire truck, a police car, a cement truck, farm equipment, a race car, dump truck, four-wheeler and a tree service boom truck fully extended with our nation's flag waving proudly over the event. In addition, some businesses and individuals donated cash to support the event.
When asked, "Which is your favorite?" one boy replied without hesitation, "The helicopter!" as he pointed to the St. Luke's air ambulance which landed on the grounds of Bud's Auto. The pilot and two nurses were constantly busy with kids being pretend pilots in the command seat, or putting on nurse helmets for pictures in the second-row seats. Their kind patience and readiness to answer questions was a big hit.
Snacks and cold drinks were donated by Gary's Foods for much-needed hydration, as well as "taking a break" from the intense excitement of pretending. They "hit the spot" on a hot, humid afternoon.
The estimated proceeds of $1,200 to $1,300 will be used by the Lions Club to work toward its motto, "We Serve." Current projects of the club include advocacy for eye health with an eyeglasses recycling project, work with the Lions hearing aid bank, cooperating in eye screening for children's potential vision problems, donating to Camp Courageous diabetes summer camp, supporting the international initiative to eradicate measles, and joining the Lions International challenge to plant more trees. However, the club is most excited about sponsoring the training and development of a companion dog for the visually impaired, named "Don" by the club to honor a past Lion Club member. Plans are for Don to visit Lisbon for Sauerkraut Days in August.