By Kevin Hitch | For The Times-Post
In July of 1925, a new organization was formed in the small community of Pendleton, Indiana.
This organization would be known as the Lions Club.
The members of the international organization work hard throughout the year to serve their community. Each individual charter will have projects geared toward their area.
Members serve in many ways locally.
Most are unknown to the community.
Some of these from the past year include: student eye exams, helping with the Pendleton Heights High School Top 10 Dinner, serving dinners at local churches, sponsoring a support dog, Quasi, for Madison County, adopting families at Christmas time, assisting with local needs, supporting Time Savers, Best Buddies, the law camp at Anderson University, which includes at risk children and other local charity groups such as Turn Away No Longer.
Summer Concerts in the Park begin the last Sunday in June and run through the summer months.
The Lions Club also provide scholarships annually through South Madison Community Foundation
One of the first organizations the Pendleton Lions Club sponsored was the local Scout BSA Troop 232 beginning in 1926.
This troop is made up of boys who have completed fifth grade up to age 18.
The troop works hand in hand with the Lions charter.
It will participate in Lions events such as the Salvation Army Bell Ringing, the fishing derby at Falls Park and highway clean-up projects.
It also puts out and pick up flags in downtown around the Fourth of July.
There have been many years that the troop has set up chairs for the Indy 500 parade.
Currently, there are plans in October to volunteer for the air show at Indianapolis Regional Airport (formerly Mt. Comfort Airport).
The highest honor in scouting is the rank of Eagle.
Each year only about 6% of eligible Scouts will earn this elite status.
Individuals must earn merit badges and complete service hours to earn ranks leading up to the top honor.
Scouts BSA has seven ranks: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle.
Members will go through recognition ceremonies during troop meetings as they earn each rank of scouting along the way.
A court of honor takes place every three months. This is a formal recognition with families, friends and the public in attendance.
All Scouts who have moved up to any rank except Eagle Scout, or who have earned merit badges since the last court of honor, should be recognized. A separate ceremony is done for the final and highest rank.
One of the Eagle rank requirements is to plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, school or community.
This ties back to Lions who also wish to serve their community.
Throughout the years, more than 80 young men have earned the highest scouting honor from the local troop.
Shane Spurrier and Mark Neilson III are the latest two young men to earn the Eagle rank.
Shane did a project at East Elementary. He set up the outdoor physical fitness course.
Mark did a memorial to veterans at Pendleton American Legion Post 117.
Troop 232 is the oldest of the Crossroads of American Council and the third oldest in Indiana.
Scouts raise money through different fundraising efforts, including selling popcorn, cheese, corn on the cob and providing a flag service.
One of the best-known fundraisers is the corn booth at June Jamboree.
The corn is prepared in a smoker. The Lions Club and troop joined together to make the purchase and have one made primarily to cook the corn.
The Scouts are one of just two outside vendors allowed to sell food at the June Jamboree.
Be sure to stop at the Jamboree to support the Lions Club and by the Scouts corn booth to enjoy an ear or two of corn.
Kevin Hitch is First Vice President of Pendleton Lions Club.