Lions look after community with donations and positivity

FORT KENT, Maine — Their motto is “We Serve,” and the Fort Kent Lions Club has been standing by those words while the COVID-19 pandemic causes uncertainty in the local community.

The Fort Kent Lions are 127 members ranging in age from 18 to 95 years old, all with community service in mind. The non-profit organization, in conjunction with club member Charles Ouellette of St. John Valley Pharmacy, recently donated 200 bottles of hand sanitizers made at the pharmacy to local police, school lunch delivery personnel, town employees and business owners.

“Our thing was, we wanted it to go to those who needed it the most right away,” said Lions Club President Kris Malmborg. “One of the other board members said with hairdressers opening up they already have an uphill battle to try to follow state regulations.”

Malmborg said any local hairdressers who did not receive a donation of hand sanitizer can reach out to a club member if interested.

The Lions in conjunction with Fort Kent area potato farmers George Pelletier, Dale Caron, Gil Caron and Steve Caron twice distributed potatoes and a monetary donation to the Greater Fort Kent Ecumenical Food Pantry in Fort Kent and the Fish River Rural Health Food Pantry located in both Fort Kent and Eagle Lake.

“These places are struggling and our entire club said let’s do our part to help out where we can and while we can,” Malmborg said.

The Lions also donated potatoes to local restaurants.

“It feels good to get food to people in need,” Malmborg said. “Some area restaurants are going above and beyond out of their own pockets to do the same thing.”
Lions Club members have also placed banners and posters printed with positive messages throughout the town to encourage people to remain hopeful despite the unwelcome changes brought about by COVID-19.

“No matter how bad things seem, better things are yet to come, so smile and don’t lose hope,” the banners and posters read.

“We need to let the town and the Valley know — we’re here and we’ve got their back,” Malmborg said.

Along with their motto, the Lions also have a special toast they recite at their meetings, which these days take place online to maintain social distancing.

“Our toast in this day and age is more fitting than it has ever been,” Malmborg said.

“None above you, none beneath you, but with you.”

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