Community in Clara City, Minnesota

I’m so proud of the ingenuity that came out of this club in my home district. It will make such a difference in the day-to-day lives for the members of the senior community. It’s great to see everyone come together for a common cause. It makes me even more proud to be a Lion.

Thanks to a LCIF Matching grant, residents in International First Vice President Brian Sheehan’s District 5M-4, Clara City, Minnesota, are feeling a revived sense of community. LCIF Matching grants involve identifying what a community needs most, and making it a reality. The US$65,000 grant funded an accessible playground near the Clara City Care Center for assisted living. It includes wheelchair swings, spinners, and other accessible play structures.

The idea was born after Lion Laurie Dieken, President of the Clara City Lions Club, brought her grandson to visit her mother-in-law at Prairie Park Place, a senior residential community, and realized he had nowhere to play outside.

Dieken and her fellow Lions quickly went to work to meet that need. Between planning and fundraising, the project took three years to complete and brought the entire community together to help build the parks because of their love for kids. The parks have brought enjoyment to residents of all ages.

At Legacy Park North, one family placed two picnic tables to be able to sit and watch their children as their elderly parents looked out of their window to watch the children play. The tables remain for others to enjoy the experience as much as they did. As the children play, residents can gather at these tables to visit with them, encouraging intergenerational friendships.

“That ongoing care, as part of the Lions legacy, warms the heart and the soul,” Dieken said.