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Lions Club Stirring Up Fundraisers
Huge pots on the stove, being stirred with a paddle, were a sure sign it was time for the annual Escalon Lions Club Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner.

Club member Chuck Sawyer was practically up to his elbows, keeping the simmering pots going while he carefully studied the plan of action.

Potatoes start at 4 p.m., carrots start at 6 p.m., cabbage goes in at 7 p.m., according to the step-by-step instructions provided by past cooks at the corned beef feed.

"You've got to follow a schedule if you want to feed 300 people in a timely manner," Sawyer said.

The annual St. Patrick's Day feast has been a community favorite for decades and this year was no different, with the crowd again expected to fill the city's Community Center for the March 17 celebration.

"This is my third year working," Sawyer added of being involved in the dinner.

"We broke him in a few years ago," agreed fellow Lions Club member John Largent, busy helping out wherever needed on Thursday morning as preparations continued in earnest.

Club member Robert Swift said pre-sale tickets for the event were hovering near the 300 mark so they anticipated a full house for dinner.

"We'll have about 50 Lions Club members working the event," he said of those involved in preparation, serving and clean up.

There was also a silent auction table and a number of prizes to be given away in opportunity drawings, with more than three dozen businesses and individuals contributing to the effort.

As an active community service organization, the Escalon Lions Club members are involved in a number of events throughout the year. The club awards several thousand dollars in scholarships annually to Escalon High School seniors, with much of the money for that effort raised in the annual Autumn Cruise staged each September.

The classic car cruise is promoted through a series of Friday night gatherings at Hula's on Jackson Avenue and those will begin next month, with the first Friday pre-cruise car show set for April 29.

The actual cruise this year will be on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The Lions Club also is the organizing force behind the annual Park Fete, slated for July 15 and 16 this year.

Other efforts range from collecting eyeglasses for Lions International, collecting aluminum can pull tabs to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, contributing to Sober Grad and Every 15 Minutes, putting on the annual Girls Basketball Tournament at Escalon High, sponsoring youth sports teams, working with the Miss Escalon Pageant and hosting a circus every other year, benefiting elementary schools in the district. The club is also active in the Christmas on Main Street celebration, working in cooperation with the Escalon Chamber of Commerce.