Lions parade ‘Out Of This World’

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Shrek and friends walk down Colorado Avenue as part of the 82nd annual Lions Club Parade Saturday afternoon.

Dozens of space aliens were spotted walking Saturday along Colorado Avenue in Grand Junction.

Well, sort of. Some were riding in golf carts or strollers, too.

Before residents become alarmed — or excited — it should be known the aliens seen near downtown appeared to be humans in costume as evidenced by the fact some spoke English or had Bluetooth wireless devices in their ears.

It is true, said Ky Oday, confirming the aliens actually were humans.

The theme for this year’s Lions Club parade and carnival fundraiser was “Out Of This World,” which is why so many humans participating in the parade were dressed as aliens or other characters from space.

For example, Oday, president of the Grand Junction Lions Club, was dressed as a member of the “Star Trek” cast.

As the only fundraiser of the year for the local service club, the Grand Junction Lions Club aspires to make the carnival and parade fun for all ages, Oday said. After all, the club donates money to organizations that help people of all ages.

One such beneficiary of past Lions Club donations is The Parenting Place of Western Colorado, which houses Strong Families Safe Kids.

The Lions Club gave the organization $35,000 last year, and it used the donation to purchase a home at 1505 Chipeta Ave., where its offices and programs can operate. Strong Families Safe Kids had been operating out of the basement of the US Bank building since 2000, Executive Director Bobbi Kline said.

With a new, larger building, the nonprofit hopes to expand its services to help parents of all ages find the support and education they need. “Parenting is a tough job,” said Kline, who has two adult sons.

The Chipeta Avenue property includes two buildings, a large outdoor area and a storage shed, giving Strong Families Safe Kids the chance to increase the number of families who use the nonprofit for education, support and friendship. Kline estimated the nonprofit worked with 1,200 families in the area last year.

In addition to having parenting classes for adults, Strong Families Safe Kids has children and youth programs.

Krystal Young and Alicia Fine are two mothers who attend the newborn group offered every Thursday morning. On Saturday, they brought their strollers, bundled up babies and put on alien ears to march in the Lions Club parade.

Young and Fine are first-time parents, so the women appreciate having an outlet to listen to other new mothers, ask questions and learn about newborns through Strong Families Safe Kids.

“It’s kind of like Google but better,” Fine said of her newborn group.


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