On The Scene: Grand Junction Lions Club Carnival Banquet

Pat and Tillie Bishop and Troy Behrens of Blink Photography

Susan Brownlee, Julianna Giese and Lisa Clemons

Michelle and Justin Hemmer

Larry and Marty Jones and Bob VanIderstine and Debbie Tucker

Cassie Lonergan and Clay Tufly

Denise Richardson

Janell and Dan Sites

Judy and Reford Theobold and Craig Glogowski

Scott and Eileen Turner

Let me set one thing straight. The Grand Junction Lions Club does not party on funds from its hard-earned ticket sales for its annual carnival and raffle.

Friday’s Carnival Banquet was sponsored by private business owners in recognition of the contributions the club has made for the past 85 years, giving more than $500,000 back to the our community.

With that said, let’s party!

The Bookcliff Country Club was the scene of an annual banquet where top sellers were recognized and awards and thank you’s were handed out to deserving individuals.

The 2014 carnival theme was “Hang Loose & Have Fun,” and it was carried out in the banquet as well. The minute fellow Lion Jordon Statler and I walked in the room, we were handed Polynesian style cocktails complete with little umbrellas

In the foyer, Vicky Bunch of Blink Photography was taking portraits. Pat and Tillie Bishop just had arrived and I caught them being readied for a photo on the Tiki Bar set by Vicky’s assistant, Troy Behrens.

Handsome couple Eileen and Scott Turner, owners of Green N Go and Turner Technical Solutions, were dressed for a good time. Eileen is the Lion of the family and has been in club for two years. Her favorite project that we funded this year was Zoological Quest in Fruita.

Janell and Dan Sites were looking on and I posed them next to one of the clever, handmade decorations. Dan is a mortgage lender at Cornerstone Home Lending and Janell is a science teacher at Grand Mesa Middle School.

I wanted to get a photo of the celebrated Larry Jones and his wife Marty. Larry belongs to the $100,000 club, and has raised over $135,000 since he joined in the Lions in 1976. He sold $8,000 in tickets this year.

Jonesy is a champion of the Las Colonias project as is Bob VanIderstine, who also served on the committee that helped steer the Community Betterment Committee into choosing the new amphitheater as a major Lions Club project. Bob brought pretty Debbie Tucker as his date.

On a side note, Two Rivers Convention Center and the Colorado Riverfront Trail both were seeded by the Grand Junctions Lions.

Leave it to happy-go-lucky Craig Glogowski to photo bomb Judy and Reford Theobold. Craig is executive director of Community Hospital’s Foundation.

It’s the ladies who make the Grand Junction Lions Club really roar. Susan Brownlee is the wife of Lion Ken Brownlee. Julianna Giese is the wife of President Elect Jim Giese. Lisa Clemons is the wife of Lion Karl Clemons, but more importantly, she is the club’s secretary.

Justin and Michelle Hemmer are certainly a cute couple. Michelle manages The Buckle in the Mesa Mall and Justin’s company is Hammer Head Paint Services. He works in the oil field keeping those big old ugly drilling rigs looking pretty.

The dinner bell rang and the line started forming at the buffet. Several people noted that it was one of the best meals they’ve had at Bookcliff Country Club. I agreed.

There were fried plantains, a lettuce bowl with shrimp and veggies, two whole roasted piglets and more.

I found Cassie Lonergan and Clay Tufly beginning to fill their plates. Cassie is a mortgage loan originator at Alpine Bank and Clay succeeded Norm Franke as regional president of Alpine Bank.

Former Lion President Denise Richardson created the décor for the celebration. She built tiki sculptures, surfboards and added all the clever touches with pineapple centerpieces and frou-frou drinks.

After dinner the DJ got jiggy with it as the dance floor filled and Lion President Mike Allen passed out cigars on the outside patio. Things started getting lively and Jordon and I danced until 11 p.m.

Another successful carnival season put to bed, and soon, so was I. Well done Lions, well done.

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■ The Palisade International Honeybee Festival is set for Friday and Saturday in Palisade. The Blue Pig Gallery will have an open house from 5–8 p.m. Friday with all kinds of bee- and honey-related art to view. The activities on Saturday begin with a 5K run/walk at 10 a.m. and continue in the town plaza with a spelling bee, vendors and all kinds of workshops. Info: palisadehoneybeefest.org.

■ The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra will wrap up its 2013–14 season with a performance of “Carmen” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium of Grand Junction High School, 1400 N. Fifth St. Tickets and info: gjsymphony.org, 243-6787.


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