LISLE – Those in a select group of Lisle fourth-graders will have company as they grow up over the next decade.
Thanks to the Lisle Lions Club, students at Schiesher Elementary and St. Joan of Arc were the recipients of sapling Norway Spruce trees last week as part of a joint effort to bring awareness to Arbor Day and the club’s presence and efforts in Lisle.
The sapling gifts, which are expected to mature within eight to 10 years, were the brain power of Debbie Starr, an active member and past president of the Lisle Lions Club.
“It’s just part of an effort to reach out into Lisle more, get our name out there and be involved with the community,” Starr said of the April 24 appearances at the schools. “The students got to take the trees home and will be able to observe them over the next decade. The fourth-graders will be graduating from high school around the time the trees mature, so we hope they will look back and remember this day.”
The core mission of the Lisle Lions Club – like its international parent Lions International that has more than 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members worldwide – is to cure blindness. But the events also went along with the Lisle Lions Club’s efforts to be a valuable member of the community, Starr said.
“We’re a worldwide, international organization in many countries and our mission is to eradicate blindness. But we also reach out to the community in various ways, and that’s what the Lions are all about,” she said.
Starr, who called herself a “plant person,” and the Lisle Lions bought the trees from Fourth Grade Foresters, a Nebraska-based group with a mission of spreading awareness of Arbor Day in schools across the country.
The Lisle Lions have been around since 1949, Starr said, and now have about 35 members who help with a number of efforts, including the club’s staple of collecting eyeglasses, as well as hosting an annual Easter egg hunt and holiday tree sale and bingo nights twice a month.
Starr has been a Lion for 23 years, 21 in Lisle.
“We’re going strong here in Lisle,” she said. “But we are always looking for more people who want to help others. If you’re interested in philanthropy, the Lions Club is for you.”