The Cornelius/Lake Norman Lions Club needs younger men and women to carry out their community service activities.
The club was formed in 1953 and once boasted a membership of more than 45. Today, it's down to just 12 members and may have to merge with another club if new members cannot be found in the next several months, club members say.
"Many of our remaining active members have over 60 years of service," said club president Anthony Lorusso Jr. of Davidson. "They come to our meetings, but are really too frail to assist with projects. To preserve the heritage of the club, we need help from the residents of the community, now more than ever."
The club meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at the Cook House Restaurant in Cornelius. Their mission, consistent with the goal of all Lions Clubs, is to help the blind. For example, funds raised by the Cornelius Lions helped build Camp Dogwood in Sherrills Ford. Camp Dogwood is an overnight summer camp that has served blind and visually-impaired residents since 1967. The club also raised funds to help purchase a building on North Tryon Street in Charlotte that employed more than 150 visually-impaired men and women making items such as seat cushions for the military.
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"We've had some really important people in the club over the years" said Lorusso "including the pastor of a prominent local church and a bank president, along with several teachers, doctors and dentists."
The Cornelius branch is one of several Lions Clubs in the Lake Norman area; others are in Huntersville, Davidson, Mooresville and Denver. Lorusso, 56, a Syracuse, N.Y., native, joined nearly 20 years ago. He's been president for four years and takes pride in the local club's many contributions. "I've had the pleasure of working with many caring and dedicated members of the Cornelius community."
Some activities coming up this spring include staffing a Lions Club booth at the Lake Norman Business Expo, March 5, at Davidson College and assisting at the Russell B. Knox Memorial Golf Tournament in April. The tournament is a joint effort by the Lions Clubs of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville in honor of the late Russell B. Knox, former mayor and community leader. It is being held this year at the Northstone Country Club in Huntersville.