Community flavor

The aroma of pulled pork, porkburgers and hot dogs filled the air around Gaiser Park on Saturday.

There also were the sounds of live music, bean-bag toss bags hitting boards, children expressing excitement as they jumped in a bouncy house and families and friends chatting while eating in the shelter house.

It was all part of the fifth annual Pig in the Park, sponsored by Seymour Noon Lions Club.

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“I love it. I love seeing the park full,” club President Robert Beatty said. “It’s just a sense of community … seeing everybody come together in the community. That’s what we’re trying to make everybody understand, also.”

Hundreds of people went through a line to get their plate filled with a pulled pork sandwich, porkburger or hot dog, along with baked beans, potato chips and a cookie. The Seymour girls basketball team helped serve the meals.

The Lions club, which consists of 42 members, will use the funds raised to support a variety of community service projects and organizations and provide college scholarships for local students.

“Some of it is only $250 here, $500 there, $1,000 scholarships, we do four or five of them, things like that,” Beatty said. “But it all adds up. A few years ago, we added up, in the 30-some years that this club has been in existence, we’ve put over $350,000 back into the community through our fundraisers.”

The club’s other fundraisers include a charity motorcycle ride in June and Oktoberfest T-shirts and fruit sales in the fall.

Pig in the Park also included a tractor show, and Follow the Son Motorcycle Ministry conducted a motorcycle ride to benefit Anchor House Family Assistance Center in Seymour.

The Crothersville Lions Club was involved with Pig in the Park for the first time, overseeing the lemon shakeup booth and bean-bag toss tournament.

That club’s president, Todd Baker, said it will use the proceeds from the two events to give back to the community and recruit members. The club, which started in 1972, currently has nine members.

It recently conducted a community dinner and shared information about the club in hopes of increasing membership.

“Our No. 1 goal is to build our membership back up as high as we can,” Baker said. “My personal goal is 19, and the Lions Club (International) would really, really like to see 15. We’ve asked so many people and get a lot of yeses, but we don’t get a lot show up, so we need some commitment out of our local community to keep this going.”

Like the Noon Lions, Crothersville’s club conducts fruit sales in the fall and vision screenings at local schools and the county fair. The club also holds a pancake fundraiser and supports programs at Hamacher Hall, and it used to sponsor the annual Crothersville Red, White and Blue Festival.

Baker said it was nice for the club to be a part of Pig in the Park.

“Just make a little money and have a little fun doing it,” he said. “We want to get the kids together and just have a fun time and support our fellow Lions here in Seymour because they really help us and come out and do the vision screenings at the school every year.”

Randy Feller of Seymour and Scott Deaton of Scottsburg were among those participating in the bean-bag toss tournament.

Feller said it was his first time at Pig in the Park, and he was excited about competing in the tournament.

“Just the competition. I just like to throw,” he said. “I enjoy coming out, and almost all of the throwers are good guys. Everybody gets along and just has a good time.”

It also was Deaton’s first time attending Pig in the Park, but he said he competes in a lot of bean-bag toss tournaments.

After competing in the tournament, both men planned on enjoying one of the pork dinners.

“I was waiting for the line to get down, and I’ll get in line,” Deaton said. “It’s a good sign when you see so many standing in line like that, then there’s something worth eating. I’ll definitely get something to eat before I leave.”

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The Seymour Noon Lions Club meets at noon every Thursday in the community room at MainSource Bank, 1130 E. Tipton St., Seymour. For information about the club, call Christy Nolan at 812-569-1868.

The Crothersville Lions Club meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month (except for July and December) in the family room of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1083, 105 W. Main St., Crothersville. For information about the club, call Todd Baker at 812-793-3048.