Hughson Lions Club
Lions Club recognized for its support of Hughson schools

The Hughson Lions Club was honored Thursday for its ongoing support of the Hughson Unified School District.

The recognition came during a luncheon ceremony in downtown Modesto hosted by the Stanislaus Partners in Education program. School districts from throughout Stanislaus County were allowed to highlight a community partner; Hughson Unified Superintendent Brenda Smith chose the Lions Club.

“The Lions Club has been a huge supporter of all our schools,” said Smith, who then read a list of recent examples:

·         Awarded $21,000 in scholarships annually to high school seniors, typically in $1,000 increments

·         Donated new uniforms for the Ross Middle School girls basketball team

·         Donated the meat and beans and cooked for the sixth-grade outdoor education fundraiser that helps to pay for students to attend the Foothill Horizons camp

·         Made presentations to fifth-grade students about the American flag, including proper flag etiquette and the importance of patriotism

·         Donated food for the “Every 15 Minutes” anti-alcohol and drug program aimed at high school students as well as the Sober Graduation event

·         Purchased a sign for the football scoreboard recognizing the 2022 state championship team

“They are incredibly generous and community-minded, and we appreciate them very much,” Smith said.

Cruz Flores, president of the Lions Club, said the organization was founded seven years ago with the express purpose of giving back to the community. He and two other Lions members – Mark Mott and Brad Reisz (husband of Hughson Elementary Principal Megan Reisz) – attended Thursday’s recognition event.

“It was a great opportunity to shed light on what we contribute back into the community and the school district,” Flores said. “We appreciate that Brenda nominated us.”

The Lions Club set a goal to raise $100,000 from July 2023 through June of this year. They have nearly achieved it already by bringing in $85,000 so far, Flores said. The bulk of the fundraising comes from Lions members and their community partners working the beer booths at the outdoor concerts held at the Fruit Yard Restaurant.

“We take that money and disperse it back into the community,” said Flores, citing the various school-related donations as well as the Lions Club’s role in the Christmas basket program that provides toys and food to about a dozen local families each year.

The club has grown to 35 members, who meet for dinner on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at the Community Center. Anyone interested in learning more about the club or attending a meeting can email or call Flores at (209) 247-4454.