By Mike Robertson
Winston County Journal
During the recent Independence Day weekend many American flags waved proudly along Main St., and also along the Hwy 15/25 By-pass, in a show of patriotism and American pride. Those flags were there due to the efforts of the Louisville Lions Club. The Lions Club puts out the flags on Main St on 10 different holidays each year, weather permitting. The flags on the by-pass are posted three times per year; Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.
The flags are sponsored by businesses and individuals, for $25 per year, as a means of raising funds for the Lions Club’s charitable causes, which include aid to the sight and hearing impaired. Almost 70% of the businesses on Main St. sponsor flags, according to Mike Dowd, Louisville Lions Club past-president.
Dowd said, “If someone wants to pay $25 we’ll find a place to put a flag out for them. The flags do two things. Obviously, they raise money for the Lions Club so that we can support sight and hearing. They also allow our community to display patriotism.” Dowd stated that there are over 200 flags that are posted 10 times per year, many sponsored by individuals.
The Club’s second largest fundraiser is an annual two-man scramble golf tournament. It is held at the Louisville Country Club on the first Saturday in August. This year the tournament was moved to the first Saturday in June, due to work being done on the course greens. Dowd said that there are no eligibility requirements, other than a $50 entry fee per person.
“They have to be willing to pay the $50 entry fee and understand that it is a charity tournament. If their team wins they will be rewarded with about an eight or nine dollar trophy,” said Dowd. “We have a club member who’s very good at getting door prizes. The local merchants are wonderful about giving us door prizes, and it’s seldom that anyone leaves our tournament without receiving something.”
Concerning services for those with vision problems, Dowd stated that a person would need to fill out an application with the local optometrist, Dr. Danny Clifton. The sight committee looks at the application, and if the person meets the qualifications the Lions Club reimburses Dr. Clifton for the eye screening and helps to pay for glasses.
Also the local Club donates $2,200 each year to the Mississippi Sight Foundation which runs the cornea bank. Dowd said there would not be a cornea bank in the state if not for the Mississippi Lions Club.
The Club also donates $1,200 per year to Mid-South Sight in Memphis where, if someone is in need of cataract surgery, and has no means of paying for it, he may be able to receive the surgery for free.
The Lions Club also has a means of helping the hearing impaired procure hearing aids.
The Louisville Lions Club meets on the third Tuesday night of each month at Lake Tiak O’Khata at 6:30 p.m. Dowd said that they invite anyone who would like to attend a meeting and learn about the organization.
Concerning membership, Dowd stated that there are no restrictions. Anyone who wants to can become a member. Those interested can contact Dowd or Tracy McCully.