Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief
The Spring Green Lions Club held its annual spaghetti dinner March 2 — a sign for the organization of slowly moving forward following a less-than normal year due to COVID-19.
Lions Club President Brad Hutnik said the organization was wary about how turnout for the event would be because of COVID-19.
“We didn’t expect to do well, but it’s always pleasing to see people come out,” said Hutnik. “No matter what, we think we were successful with it.”
In normal years, the club chooses different organizations to raise money for, typically a student organization where students sell tickets. However, this year the funds went back to the Lions Club, to continue supporting their efforts in the community.
Throughout the year, the club hosts a variety of fundraisers for various organizations and projects, with a large majority of those funds coming from the food booth the club hosts at the Spring Green Arts and Crafts fair—which was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. This means the organization was unable to fundraise as usual.
“The Lions have really benefited from being forward thinking about their finances in the past, because of that, we will take a hit, but we had some money set aside for emergencies,” said Hutnik. “We will be exploring some new fundraisers to keep things going.”
The Arts and Crafts Fair is canceled again this year, but Hutnik said he believes the organization is taking “baby steps” towards returning to normal.
When COVID-19 shutdowns began this time last year, the group began experimenting with meetings on Facebook Live and settled on Zoom to continue their semi-regular meeting schedule. Hutnik said the group is now starting to shift towards meeting in a hybrid manner, some people attending in person, and others virtual. Prior to COVID-19, the group met at The Shed in Spring Green, enjoyed a meal together while meeting and took summer months off from meeting.
“It’s a little different, because you don’t have the ability to see people,” said Hutnik. “With Zoom, we see people we don’t often see at regular meetings, and a lot of people who might come don’t come on Zoom. I think it sustained us. I think if we had to go on with Zoom alone, it would be really hard.
Hutnik is confident the Lions Club will always be an integral part of the area, and will continue to adapt to be able to provide services and funding for local projects and organizations—despite the less than normal year they have experiences.
“No matter what, Lions will be here. We’re not going any place, whether we have money or not, we’re going to be here. It’s just a matter of how effective we can be for the community,” said Hutnik. “We want to be as effective as possible.”
For more information on the Spring Green Lions Club visit www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/spring_green_wi/index.php