Lions announce 2014 beneficiaries

Ten projects associated with 10 local community organizations — from sports groups to museums to media to search and rescue responders — got promised financial boosts today from the Grand Junction Lions Club.

In total, $125,000 will be given in 2014 to projects across the community by the Lions, a group that has raised nearly $1.2 million for the community over the last seven years, club officials said.

The Lions gathered this afternoon at the new Grand Valley Zoological Quest facility in Fruita, a wildlife education center that will get $7,500 from the Lions this year for a new “Bee Zone” exhibit, it was announced. Organizers with Grand Valley Zoological Quest expect more than 30,000 visitors to come to the new center this year.

The zoo folks were among nine other projects that run the gamut of supporting community endeavors, according to Lions presenters today.

• Mesa County Search and Rescue will get $15,500 this year, which is 75 percent of the cost to purchase a new truck for hauling equipment and personnel. The local search and rescue group said service calls were up more than 12 percent over 2012, and the new truck is expected to shorten response times.

• The Museum of Western Colorado will get $7,000 from the Lions to construct a new Western Slope Heritage Exhibit, which will include a gallery that changes year to year.

• The more than 12,000 listeners to KAFM radio will be better able to interact with on-air hosts after a $5,000 upgrade of communications equipment at the station.

• The Lions will help fund a new woodworking shop at the Veteran’s Art Center, with a $7,000 grant.

• The city of Grand Junction will get $50,000 this year from the Lions — part of a multi-year agreement over six years — which will go to construction of Las Colonias Park. In the works is a kayak park and amphitheater, among other new amenities.

• Sports groups continued to get support funding from the Lions this cycle. Tiger Paw Wrestling will get $7,500 for new portable mats; Western Slope Pop Warner Football will get $3,375 — plus a matching grant from Community Hospital — for new portable scoreboards; and the Central High School baseball program will get $8,375.



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