The Hinckley Lions Club has held their annual auction for 38 years. During that time, funds have been raised through those efforts that have allowed the club to make donations to Lions International to assist the blind, programs for the blind and research for blindness and diabetes.
Funds have been raised so that locally the Hinckley Lions Club has been able to put money into the community for scholarships, eye glasses, youth sports programs, senior citizen activities, reading and drug programs at the local schools and for donations to those families hit with personal tragedies. Funds have been raised so that the Hinckley Lions Club could participate with other area Lions Clubs to hold a summer fishing day for individuals with handicaps and for a day of skiing for the blind.
This annual auction brings hundreds, and in some years, thousands of people to our community where they made purchases at local gas stations, bars, grocery store and restaurants adding to our local sales tax base.
Over the years, this annual event has been made possible not only with the help of some very dedicated Lions members, but through the cooperation and help of an entire community. The patience the members of the community have shown with an increase in traffic and, in some years mud, the cooperation of the local churches providing the concessions (raising funds for their own use), and local government for their help, understanding and use of equipment.
Unfortunately, after 38 years tragedy has befallen this great event. A local resident has taken it upon himself to consider the use of the local government-owned equipment a wasteful use of taxpayer money and has insisted that such equipment not be used to make this another successful event.
It is heartbreaking to think that I am now living in a community that has citizens among us that have no understanding of the meaning of friendly, helpful or community. If only such an individual could have spent as much time helping to make this event a success as they spent in destroying the community spirit that has made this event so successful over the years, maybe he would find understanding of the words volunteer, kindness and pulling together.
I truly feel sorry for an individual with such hate in their heart they cannot see the overall benefit of such a community event.