Helping hands: Lions Club gives back

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Charles Mills of the Austin Noon Lions Club caulks trim around a window Monday in Northwest Austin. He and other Lions Club members painted and detailed the entire house as a part of the Senior Center’s chore program, which helps seniors who are in need. - Matt Peterson/

The Austin Lions Club couldn’t have asked for a better day than Monday to paint a house.

And in one day, the club did just that — painted the entire house.

With roughly nine gallons of paint and mid-70s, sunny weather, morning, noon and evening Lions members tackled the day-long chore in northwest Austin from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Email newsletter signup

It’s the first house the Lions Club has painted through the Mower County Senior Center’s chore program, which helps senior citizens with yard work, housework and financial obstacles. Though it was the Lions’ first time painting an entire house, it was the Senior Center’s 49th house enrolled through the chore program since it started in 1988.

Lions Club Zone Chairman Jim Dunlop spearheaded the effort and organized roughly 15 club members to tackle the job, which went from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. He wants people to know about the Lions as an international service organization and hopes more people will join the already 100 plus member group in Austin.

“We’re trying to let people know what we do,” Dunlop said. “It’s a non-profit organization and it’s the largest in the world.”

Nancy Donahue, head of the chore program at the Senior Center, tries to coordinate about two

Jim Dunlop, zone chairman for the Lions Club, gathered several local Lions members to paint an entire house for the Senior Center’s chore program on Monday.

house paintings each year. Now, she can expect to keep that consistency, as Lions members said Monday they hope to paint one house every year. But their first house was particularly timely, as they painted Norene Sundal’s house just two days after her birthday. Sundal told Lions members it was a great gift.

Though painting a house is a large chore, the Lions Club easily had the manpower to quickly complete the task.

“We decided this one here would be a joint venture between all three clubs, which helps us do a bigger project like this,” Dunlop said.

Furthermore, volunteering with friends is something they all enjoy.

“That’s the best benefit — having fun,” Lions member Vern Ehmke said. “It’s comraderie. They’re all a bunch of good guys.”

The Lions weren’t alone in their efforts, either. Sherwin Williams Co. donated the paint, Donut Connection gave donuts for breakfast and Jim’s Market Place provided lunches.

Donahue said any senior who needs his or her house painted, or anybody who wants to volunteer in the chore program can contact her at 433-8376.