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Beer, Wine, and Spirits: Lions Club to Expand Fundraising with New West Hartford Event

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The Greater Hartford Lions Club will host a fundraising event on Friday, Oct. 18 in West Hartford’s Town Hall with drinks, food, a raffle, and live music to benefit a variety of local organizations.

By Zoe Pierce

In West Hartford, getting two meals for $1 would be nothing short of a miracle.

Granted, many people in the West Hartford community are fortunate enough that food insecurity isn’t on their minds. For others, however, it’s a constant worry.

Greater Hartford Host Lions Club member, Andrew Stern (right), presents the club’s annual contribution to Foodshare. President and CEO Jason Jakubowski. (we-ha.com file photo)

In June the Greater Hartford Hosts Lions Club raised $1,200 to benefit Foodshare, which translated to about 3,600 meals for families directly in our community. 

Seeing these dollars translate directly into meals, said club secretary Katie Stevenson, was one of the most impactful moments where she saw able to see her work truly make a difference.

“I knew all the good we and Foodshare did but that was a ‘holy smokes’ moment to see all that impact,” Stevenson said.  

The Foodshare donation is just a portion of the work the Lions Club does each year to support local nonprofits and organizations such as Oak Hill School, Foodshare, and Connecticut Radio Information Service for the Blind. 

These are also the three organizations that the Lions Club will be supporting through their new October festival.

To expand their fundraising, the Lions Club will be hosting a new event on Friday, Oct. 18, from 6-9 p.m. in the West Hartford Town Hall auditorium. The “Beer, Wine, and Spirits” event is being held in partnership with West Side Wines and Spirits of West Hartford to make an evening of drinks, food, and music for anyone to attend.

Local restaurants will also be providing appetizers and there will be music by The Straight Up Jazz Trio. 

“A lot of people will benefit from this fundraiser,” said Stevenson. “We’re hoping to bring more money and to make donations even larger to reach more people. We’re happy to have people who are interested in giving back, and everyone and anyone is welcome.”

With their main events being an annual nut and cashew sale, a pancake breakfast, and hosting a booth at Celebrate! West Hartford, the club wanted to expand further. They found inspiration in Mystic’s Lions Club when adding the October festival, according to Stevenson. 

“The Mystic Aquarium event was able to raise around $10,000,” said Stevenson. “So that’s kinda the goal, to eventually reach that.”

The Lions Club is a true civic club, Stevenson said, one that combines volunteerism and fundraising.

Stevenson also emphasized that people should not necessarily see it as volunteering for an organization, rather volunteering to help fellow community members and people who are in need right in our neighborhoods.

“I think people are a little hesitant to volunteer because they think it’s going to take hours and hours, and its just a little bit of time once in a while,” said Stevenson. “It makes such a big difference.”

The Lions Club has been volunteering both time and money to local nonprofits since 2014 when the West Hartford and Hartford Lions Club merged. 

The Lions Club holds the mission statement of: “To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs. To be the global leader in community and humanitarian service.” 

For the October fundraiser, the group hopes to be able to expand their giving guided by the international mission statement as well as inform more people as to what the Lions Club does and why. The fundraiser is expected to be a”don’t miss” event.

“We’re looking to grow the club, to expand the demographic with some more young people, or anyone looking to serve the community,” said Stevenson.

Tickets to attend the Lions Club’s “Beer, Wine, and Spirits,” which is open to the public, can be purchased through the  website lionslibationsandcheer.com.

Anyone willing to donate a silent auction prize should email Katie Stevenson at [email protected].

More information about the jazz trio can be found at nimbitmusic.com.straightupjazztrip.com

For more general information about the Greater Hartford Hosts Lions Club, visit their website.

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Zoe Pierce

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