Lions to host free community Thanksgiving dinner

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 14:26
  • A free community Thanksgiving turkey dinner will be held Thursday, Nov. 28 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Eagle River Lions Clubhouse in Eagle River. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe, File)

Many folks know the local Lions Club mainly for its large clubhouse and sports complex across from Walmart in Eagle River. But it’s what Lions do that can’t be seen that makes the group special according to Lion Karen Burns, who spoke about the group during the weekly Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce meeting Nov. 20 at the Matanuska Brewing Company in Eagle River.

“We’ve been here a long time,” Burns told the chamber before detailing the organization’s many and varied service projects.

Lions run vision screening centers, donate to local scholarships, host an annual Easter Egg hunt, raise money for mobility devices for people overseas and provide educational resources for those with diabetes.

On Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 28), the group will host a free community dinner at the clubhouse, where Burns said she expects more than 200 people. The dinner will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and is open to all.

“It’s a free feast for our community,” she said.

In other items at Wednesday’s chamber meeting:

- FOCUS Inc. executive director Jenna Morales said the group is looking for volunteers for its upcoming summer camp. To volunteer, contact the group at 694-6002.

- Kathy Vik with the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions said the group is kicking off its annual Christmas Tree program, which typically gives presents to about 120 kids. The trees will be set up at about 10 locations around town, Vik said.

- Todd Smolden, Mat-Su office director for Gov. Mike Dunleavy, reminded people they can contact him with questions or concerns regarding state business. The Palmer office can be reached at 761-5690.

- Matanuska Electric Association’s Jennifer Castro said co-op members who received a bill in 1989 will receive a capital credit check soon. Payouts less than $25 will be credited to members’ bills, with checks sent to those receiving credits of more than $25.

- Chamber executive director Debbie Rinckey reminded folks that the annual Merry Merchant Munch and Winter Wonderland will be held Dec. 6-7 in downtown Eagle River. The event was canceled last year because of the November earthquake.

“It’s going to be a great time this year,” Rinckey told the chamber.

The event will feature “munch” locations at numerous businesses on Friday from noon to 5 p.m., followed by the Winter Wonderland celebration — featuring a visit from Santa and carols from local children — in Town Square Park.

The Munch continues Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit the chamber at

- The chamber’s next meeting is Dec. 21 at noon at the Matanuska Brewing Company, where the guest speaker will be Sen. Natasha von Imhof (R-South Anchorage).

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