OCEAN CITY – Almost four decades ago, 26 women came together to form the Ocean City Lioness Club.
Since then, the organization has worked alongside the Lions Club to support community members throughout Worcester County.
Today, only five charter members remain, but the club has grown exponentially since.
With its 61 members, the club hosts three major fundraisers annually — Springfest, Sunfest and a bingo night.
“We have been selling pull tab bingo and coffee at Springfest and Sunfest for many years,” President Bobbi Sample said. “They have been the backbone of our fundraising efforts. For the past several years, we’ve added a Bingo fundraiser as well.”
Sample said these fundraisers net an average of $15,000 each year and goes to 25 beneficiaries and 12 outreach projects in the area.
Some of these benefactors include: Diakonia, Coastal Hospice, Medical Eye Bank of Maryland, Cedar Chapel and more.
“The mission of the Lioness Club is helping children and supporting many of the Lion charities, especially vision,” Sample said.
One of the biggest goals of their annual fundraisers is to provide scholarships to Stephen Decatur High School and Worcester Technical High School students.
The club provides $5,000 in scholarships, two reoccurring and one yearly, to students entering college each year.
To meet this goal, the club will host its final major fundraising event of the year.
The fourth annual bingo night will be held at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club Nov. 9.
Each game will have a $100 cash prize, and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction and win door prizes.
The yacht club will also have dinner and drinks available for purchase.
All proceeds from the event will be placed into a general fund and divided amongst the club’s benefactors.
Tickets are available for purchase prior to the event for $25. Any tickets left will be sold at the door for $30.
Although major fundraising events will end soon, the club looks forward to celebrating its 40th anniversary and its remaining charter members in its January meeting.
“We will probably reminisce and recognize charter members,” Sample said. “They have done everything and have held every position over the years. Many also get involved with the Lions events as well because many are married to Lions members.”
When the club began in 1976, each of the charter members had a husband in the Lions Club, but its membership excluded women from joining.
When they discovered the Lioness Club, the women set out to form a group. And in January of 1977, that is exactly what they did. The organization’s members range in age from those in their 20s to those in their 80s, and Sample encourages women to participate in the club.
“We are a fun-loving, civic-minded group who focuses our efforts on supporting our local community,” Sample said.
Those interested can attend the club’s meetings, held at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month, excluding July and August. Meetings are held at the Lions Den near the Ocean City Municipal Airport.
For more information on the club, contact Sample at email@example.com and like the group’s Facebook page.
For bingo tickets and information, call Bev Topfer at 410-208-4567.
“The Ocean City Lioness Club is a great way for people to make new friends and work to serve Ocean City and the surrounding communities,” Sample said.