Lions Club hands out $125,000

Nature Center in Fruita gets $7,500 for Bee Zone exhibit

The Grand Junction Lions Club gave $125,000 to 10 organizations Tuesday, money that was raised during the service club’s carnival and parade in February. The grants included a $7,500 award to the Grand Valley Zoological Quest at the Children’s Nature Center in Fruita. Employees at the center showed off a Kenyan sand boa, pictured, and other species to children from Rim Rock Elementary on Tuesday. The money will pay for a Bee Zone exhibit to be installed soon.

Kids with a curiosity about bees will have the chance to get up close and personal with them as a result of grant from the local Lions Club — one of three awards handed out to community organizations Tuesday.

A $7,500 grant was awarded to Grand Valley Zoological Quest, who will use the money to open the “Bee Zone” exhibit at their Children’s Nature Center, 404 Jurassic Ave. in Fruita. The bees will be a welcome addition to the wildlife center that already counts snakes, scorpions, turtles and sting rays as residents.

Also Tuesday, the Lions presented awards to the Museum of Western Colorado and KAFM Radio, for new projects there. The museum received $7,000 to create a new “Changing Gallery” exhibit, which will detail local heritage on a revolving basis. KAFM — the community radio station — will use $5,000 from the Lions to improve communications equipment that will allow callers to interact with on-air hosts.

The three awards granted Tuesday are among 10 community awards for 2014 from the Lions’ Community Betterment Committee, totaling $125,000, from funds raised during the group’s signature event — the annual Lions’ carnival and raffle, held this past February for the 85th time.

The remaining awards from the program will be handed out at different times through September.


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