The Council and the Lions: A Lasting Relationship Rooted in Shared Goals

A crowd of people in a large festival tent eating corn and brats
Attendees enjoying the Williams Bay Lions Club’s annual Corn and Brat Roast

Lions Club International has been a leading advocate for and supporter of people with vision loss since 1925. That’s when Helen Keller challenged Lions Clubs around the world to be “knights for the blind.” Each spring, the Council nurtures our relationships with Wisconsin Lions Clubs by updating them on our current work and goals and offering to visit them, in person or virtually, to strengthen our connection.

“We are very grateful for the Lions Clubs across our state, who continue to meet Keller’s challenge by generously giving to the Council to support the advancement of our mission,” says Council Executive Director Denise Jess.

There are hundreds of local Lions Clubs in the Badger State with thousands of combined members. Recently, the Williams Bay Lions chapter, established in 1946, made a very special financial gift to the Council. “We believe in the work of the Council, and we want to support it,” says club treasurer Bruce Nelson. Bruce has been with the club since 1985. He explained that the gift was made possible through the chapter’s annual fundraising events, which attract enthusiastic crowds from all over Walworth County. The club organizes three main festivals each year, all taking place in Edgewater Park:

  • Pancake Day is the first Saturday in July. Pancakes, coffee and milk are sold from 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • The Corn and Brat Roast takes place the second Saturday and Sunday in August. Beer and non-alcoholic beverages are available. There are fireworks on Saturday night.
  • The Nick Caselli Rocking Car Show is the second weekend of October. Nearly 200 vintage autos, mostly from the surrounding area, go on display, including a “Corvette Corral.”

In addition to dollars that help support the Council, Bruce says festival proceeds are also directed to Williams Bay children’s programs and school activities.

The Council treasures its special connection to Lions Clubs across the state, and looks forward to many more years of complementing each other’s work to empower people with vision loss to live the lives they choose.

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